Opinion

Over the cuckoo's nest, twice

property rights I was taught that a working democracy is a government operated by the wishes of the entire voter population.
   Elected representatives operate according to their professed platforms along with a governor who has a power of veto. Initiatives were direct methods of government by the voters.
   Initiatives 164 and Referendum 48 have taken me over the cuckoo's nest twice.
   Initiative 164 was created mainly by corporate developers and timber interests. They paid professionals to acquire the voters' signatures.
   I-164 was then sent to the State Legislature which rubber-stamped it into law on a certain date--all without the governor's power of veto and a general election.
   Where's the democracy in this maneuver?
   With some pro help, enough voters signed a petition to have I-164 on the ballot in the form of Ref-48.
   The second flight occurred when Ref-48 was portrayed as a citizens' property rights activity.
   With our governments' reduction in spending, the intent of Ref-48 was to do away with present protective regulations due to the lack of funds to keep the regulations in force.
   To me, property rights means the right to own property, but what I do with it can affect other property and others' property taxes.
   This second flight went to greater heights after the voters rejected Ref-48 60 percent to 40 percent.
   The legislature is now treating the voters' rejection of Ref-48 as a public opinion poll rather than the voters' rejection of the referendum.
   An Eastside editorial praises elected officials who have convictions, in other words, agendas.
   Representatives who vote according to the results of a public initiative election are accused of voting according to public polls rather than elections.
   Why vote at all on initiative elections if they are treated as public opinion polls?
   When elected officials operate according to their own agendas (convictions) and ignore the reasons for which they are elected, we have an oligarchy.

George F. Slusser, Woodinville