By and large I ignore politics. I simply can’t bring myself to get wound up about it. I don’t sweat the election of a person I disagree with. It’s simply not a big deal to me.

This is why I was so surprised at my feelings about the Michigan 2012 Ballot Proposals this year. I really feel like there’s a single serious problem with all but 1 one of them, and the problem centers around the words “AMEND THE CONSTITUTION“.

I firmly believe that changing the Constitution should be done ONLY after decades of testing and discussion. Laws should exist regarding something long before it’s considered for constitutionality.

Two of the proposals are about collective bargaining for specific industries. The Constitution should be around for hundreds of years. Do we think these industries will even exist in hundreds of years? I wouldn’t be opposed to some general collective bargaining constructs being in the Constitution after 50 years of testing or something, but just dropping these in there because someone has their undies in a twist is apalling.

There’s one about renewable energy. It requires that we have a certain amount of energy being made in certain specificways by 2025. What happens in 2026? Do we amend it again to simply remove that bit? That’s ridiculous. What happens if we find a new kind of energy before then? Do we have to ignore it until 2025? I love renewable energy, I’m all for it, but this is the wrong way to get there.

Proposal 5 discusses things that I actually think should be in the Constitution. I’m not sure I go for this particular mandate, but generally speaking I like the idea of principles of taxation being in the Constitution. Unfortunately, this proposal wasn’t built and framed from that standpoint. It was put forth relatively quickly to solve a specific short term problem. Bad news.

Proposal 6 is just a joke. The guy who owns the only bridge to Canada is cranky because Canada wants to build a new bridge to the U.S. So he’s trying to get it stopped. I’ve very happy to see that both liberal and conservative evaluations of the proposals pretty much agree that this is a horrible thing, and shouldn’t happen.

In summary

I’m not going to comment on Proposal 1. Proposals 2-6 want you to amend the Consititution, and I think it’s a bad idea on all of them, regardless of the specific issues they’re trying to address.

I think proposal 6 is particularly dangerous, because if passed it sets a precedent for a single person to be able to protect his own business interests by changing the fundamental process of making laws in our State.

Here are two different stances on them in general:

3 thoughts on “Michigan’s 2012 Ballot Proposals

  1. Like you, I have more of a problem with the fact that they propose to amend the constitution than with the particular details.

  2. Excellent post. The proposals to change the constitution do indeed feel rushed. In fact, your post is far more thoughtful than these proposals.

    I just figured out who I’m writing in for president. You’re older than 35, right?

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