For this cartoon, I’m resurrecting an oldie. I first published this cartoon in 2008! Almost ten years ago, that’s how long I’ve been deeply concerned about this issue. Finally, FINALLY we get to vote on an amendment that proposes to fix this problem.
Our state constitution is the easiest amend in the nation. The problem is, it should be very DIFFICULT to amend. It’s the freakin’ constitution! What we’ve gotten over the past couple of decades is citizen legislation via our amendment process, and it’s created all kinds of problems, not among least are amendments that actually contradict each other. Since our constitution can not be “corrected” without a majority vote of the people, it becomes arduous and cumbersome to fix those mistakes. This is why we have an elected legislature! Budget issues, traditional legislation… these are issues that should have no place in our Constitution.
The other problem is that constitutional amendments have been put on the ballot and passed solely on the support of the urban areas, without any input from the rural areas, ostracizing them from the rest of the state. It allows easy access to cement into our constitution laws that could potentially pit the interests of the urban areas against the interests of the rural.
Amendment 71 will fix that, requiring a small percentage of petitionary support from ALL Colorado counties before it can be added to the ballot. It still allows for the citizen legislature. It just keeps it more fair.
I’m alarmed at the opposition against this amendment, and most of it is based in misconception and falsehoods, obviously being spread by the outside special interest groups who are enjoying tampering with the sanctity of our state. Saw a whole slate of people who said their primary objection is that John Hickenlooper supports it, therefore it must be bad. Yeah, well, so does Bill Owens (Republican, remember him?) and every other sensible lawmaker who has served this state. Others have noticed that conservative groups are backing it, therefore they can’t support it. Soooo… let me get this straight, half of you reject it because some Democrats are supporting it and the other half are rejecting it because a bunch of Republicans are supporting it. Are you guys nuts?!? Perhaps if you could see beyond your partisan loyalty, you’d recognize that maybe the reason BOTH sides support it is because it is a GOOD IDEA!
Others have strongly objected to the idea that it would allow the rural counties to have veto power over the initiative process. Um… yep. It’s exactly that mindset that we need Amendment 71. If you’re trying to ram a BAD law into the Colorado Constitution, then that rural county veto would end up being the only stop gap that we would have. If you don’t want them to veto your Constitutional Amendments, DON’T MAKE BAD LAW!
It’s the exact same reason why our founding fathers assigned two senators to every state, regardless of size. In our republic, the little guys still deserve a voice. That’s why I support Amendment 71 and encourage you to do the same.