1
   

The USA and US states: a representative democracy?

 
 
Reply Thu 8 Sep, 2005 08:59 am
Nota bene: this is neither a question pro something nor against something else, but I'm really not sure, and I couldn't find an answer online.



Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said he will veto a bill that would allow gay marriages in California - that's certainly his very right to do so.

However: "We cannot have a system where the people vote and the legislature derails that vote." (Schwarzenegger's spokeswoman, Margita Thompson, on this issue.)

I'd thought (until now) that in the USA the people vote on their Senators and Representatives, who then vote on their laws.

Is this different in the various states, e.g. in California?
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,047 • Replies: 10
No top replies

 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Sep, 2005 09:30 am
No Walter, what is referred to is Proposition 22, which stated that California would only recognize the institution of marriage as union between a man and a woman. The conservatives are screaming that 62% of those bothered to vote on the issue voted in favor of that proposition. I haven't checked it out to see if that is accurate, nor what the voter turn-out was. That was five years ago.

There are at the state and local level what are referred to as ballot initiatives--in California they are commonly called propositions. These are binding on the laws of the state, insofar as they are not subsequently overturned by a Federal court in a lawsuit. Most are mundane things--we commonly vote on property tax levies to fund schools, or increases in one sort of taxation or another. They have the legal standing of legislation, so they can either overturn existing legislation, or they can be overturned by legislation. This is what the issue has become in California. The conservatives are ranting that elected representatives are trying to subvert the will of the people. If this is actually how people in California feel, it will be reflected in the vote when state Representatives and Senators face the electorate again.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Sep, 2005 09:43 am
Thanks, Set, for these infos.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Sep, 2005 09:47 am
Yes, and unfortunately, Prop. 22 won 61.40 % for the institution of marriage between man and woman only, and
38.80 % against Prop. 22. So in essence, Schwarzenegger
is upholding (veto) what Californians voted for.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Sep, 2005 09:53 am
I'm no expert on California law, but it was my impression that voter initiatives could not be repealed by the legislature. In that respect, initiatives are quasi-constitutional -- they can only be repealed by subsequent voter initiatives. Is that correct?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Sep, 2005 11:40 am
I hadn't read that, but then, i've not researched it either. It does bring up an interesting question, however. I would have thought that such an argument would have been advanced at the time the legislature contemplated this bill, were that the case.
0 Replies
 
Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Sep, 2005 11:48 am
Varies from state to state. The WA legislature has, on several occasions, enacted laws that public initiatives had rejected.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander: At the moment, the anti-tax mob has an initiative to repeal a gas tax that the leg. passed recently...
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Sep, 2005 11:48 am
BBB
joefromchicago wrote:
I'm no expert on California law, but it was my impression that voter initiatives could not be repealed by the legislature. In that respect, initiatives are quasi-constitutional -- they can only be repealed by subsequent voter initiatives. Is that correct?


Having lived in California all my life until the last three years, I've watched the Initiative ballot process for a long time.

It is my understanding that an Initiative can be declared unconstitutional by the California or Federal Supreme courts if the Initiative is challenged in a lawsuit.

BBB
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Sep, 2005 11:53 am
California ballot proposition
California ballot proposition
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A California ballot proposition is a method of amending either the California state constitution or California statutory law, under the initiative and referendum process.

In the state of California, state laws may be proposed directly by the public, as well as the state's Constitution may be amended either by public petition or by the legislature submitting a proposed constitutional amendment to the electorate. The process of allowing the public to propose legislation or constitutional amendments is called the Initiative. The process of the state legislature proposing Constitutional amendments is called a Referendum. The process occurs in one of two ways.

First, the state legislature may pass a act which is signed by the governor, proposing a state constitutional amendment, which is then submitted to the voters as a referendum at the next statewide election. If more than 50% of the voters approve the referendum then the constitutional amendment is approved and goes into effect.

Second, the general public may propose via the initiative, either amendments to the State Constitution or the creation of new statute laws, which is done by writing a proposed constitutional amendment or statute as a petition, and submitting the petition to the state's Attorney General along with a submission fee (in 2004 this was $200), and obtaining signatures on petitions from registered voters amounting to 7% (for a constitutional amendment) or 5% (for a statute) of the number of people who voted in the most recent election for governor. The signed petitions are then sent to the state's Secretary of State for validation of signatures. Usually, due to duplicate signing or invalid signatures, usually at least 50% more than is required are collected to compensate for possible invalidated signatures. In the event the number of validated signatures is more than the minimum number required, the proposed amendment or statute is then submitted to the voters, similar to a referendum as noted above. If the proposition is approved by more than 50% of all voters, it becomes a part of the state constitution (if it is a proposed amendment) or the state's statutes (if it is a proposed law) in the same manner and having the same legal effect as if it had been passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor.

Originally, initiative and referrendum petitions were given a number starting at 1 each year. This tended to be confusing as often famous initiatives such as Proposition 13 might be confused with another initiative in a later year if there were more than 12 proposals on the ballot in any year. Starting in 1982, the proposition numbers were not reused but would continue to increment until at least a decade had passed from when a particular one had appeared on the ballot, eventually resulting in propoition numbers exceeding 200. Starting with the 1998 ballot, the count was reset back to 1 and will be reset every 10 years.
0 Replies
 
woiyo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Sep, 2005 01:23 pm
BBB - It seems to me then that the legislature can not over-ride the Proposition. Do I understand that properly??
0 Replies
 
DontTreadOnMe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2005 11:21 am
if we use the contentious prop 187 as a referrence, the courts have the ability to overturn.

187 regarded illegal immigration;

prop 187 text

187 passed with 59%. yet was over ruled.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Obama '08? - Discussion by sozobe
Let's get rid of the Electoral College - Discussion by Robert Gentel
McCain's VP: - Discussion by Cycloptichorn
Food Stamp Turkeys - Discussion by H2O MAN
The 2008 Democrat Convention - Discussion by Lash
McCain is blowing his election chances. - Discussion by McGentrix
Snowdon is a dummy - Discussion by cicerone imposter
GAFFNEY: Whose side is Obama on? - Discussion by gungasnake
 
  1. Forums
  2. » The USA and US states: a representative democracy?
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.09 seconds on 04/19/2021 at 05:31:50