Beware of candidates with an axe to grind; once it’s sharp they may use it to chop off your voting hand.

The apparent need to appeal to a political “base” creates this dangerous electoral conflict and threatens the very fabric of democracy. Take for example the continuing efforts of the Idaho House to restrict ballot initiatives. Under various pretenses (including the avoidance of the California conundrum of too many ballot items and the claim of protecting our rural minority) our supposed “representatives” have treated the majority of voters like a mob that needs to be controlled. Now, it’s the majority that requires protection.

This is an ancient political paradox leaving only one reasonable way for the public to protect itself from the axe of elected officials battling for a base: the ballot initiative process. It is a process that works, as last year’s election proved when a super-majority of Idahoans wanted unrestricted Medicaid expansion and their elected representatives refused to comply. The only way the public got what it wanted was with a ballot initiative. Now, those same elected officials want to use the axe of power they hold to hack away at that important constitutional protection.

So, beware, Idaho. Beware.

Mike Ruskovich


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