I’ve heard a lot of complaints about the consequences of Initiative 1183 thus far – a high price on liquor at chain stores, especially.
Many ask: Well, what did you expect? Reflecting on this point, though, how could people know? I’m 19, a very recent voter, and I spend hours pouring over arguments from both sides on almost every proposal and trying to decipher the grossly complicated language. It’s like studying for finals.
Seriously, who has the time to do this? Who has the resources?
I do believe this was a major failing on the voters’ part, but it’s indicative of a much larger problem in the way we pass laws. By packing proposals in what is practically (sometimes literally) a foreign language, those who write initiatives are taking away the ability of a majority of the population to make a truly informed decision.
Politics and democracy has turned into an ivory tower, and so many people are shut out – either refusing to vote because they don’t understand or, perhaps, voting in ways they will regret once the consequences come around.
The cry seems to be, “If only we had known!” When the constituency can’t understand what they’re voting for, is democracy even alive at all?