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The high price of making law

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You can grow weary in this laboratory of direct democracy. We are the proving ground for Armageddon strategists, a prep for the final battle between good and evil. Why else would Monsanto spend millions to keep us from stamping labels on the squeezings from its GMO seeds? Or why could Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps spend a substantially fewer millions to convince us to deploy a virtual Mr. Yuck against agribusiness conglomerates?

Because they can. We have an initiative system designed a century ago as a populist check against entrenched power, and for years that is what it was. The people could make law. They could do what a Legislature swayed by powerful special interests could not. The power of initiative and referendum was a hallmark of the Progressive Era. It was a wall to thwart those who would manipulate law for their personal benefit.

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