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Initiative petition reform threatens to take power from 'We the People'


To the editor:

“A republic, if you can keep it.”

That was Benjamin Franklin's response to Elizabeth Willings Powel’s question at the Constitution Convention in 1787 about whether our colonial nation was a monarchy or a republic. And his answer to that question is as relevant today as it was 237 years ago — particularly regarding Missouri state politics.

Some of you folks might be aware that the supermajority (which is Republican — sorry to disappoint those who might want to think otherwise) wants to do away with your constitutionally-protected right to engage with your state government.

That’s right, I’m talking about the IP (initiative petition) reform. If you don’t know what an initiative petition is: It’s our way as citizens to get laws and public policies that we want on the ballot for the entire state to vote on, and completely bypass the legislative body in Jefferson City. We also can repeal laws we don’t like through the referendum process. This makes Missouri one of the few states that have a little more of a direct approach to the way government works. It’s what makes our little constitutional republic even more of a democracy.

But we have a small minority within the Missouri GOP (and it’s attempting to hijack the party itself) in Jeff City that wants to remove that ability to use your voice in our state government; simply due to the fact that the vast majority of Missourians don’t agree with being ruled by a minority with the dreams of becoming the literal definition of a “Big Government.” You know like Jay Ashcroft and his library rule that went over like a lead balloon….

And before you think it’s a “partisan” issue, let me tell you — no, it's NOT when comes to our government, and our little democracy. This reform will affect everyone equally and takes away the idea of “We the People” found in the preamble of the U.S. Constitution. So, start writing letters and calling your state lawmakers' offices and let them know what you think about their power grab. Let’s keep our republic safe, as Franklin would say.

One vote, one person.

No to IP Reform.

Willow Springs