Wednesday, November 08, 2006

We have seen the enemy, and it is us.

Florida voters dealt themselves a blow in yesterday's election with the passage of Amendment 3 to Florida's constitution. The amendment requires a super-majority of 60%+1 for future amendments to the constitution as opposed to the previous requirement of a simple majority.

Many opponents of the President have decried the perceived encroachment on our rights as citizens, yet here are Florida voters actually voting away their own rights.

By my count 4.4 million people voted on Amendment 3. According to the Herald, 57.7% voted for it. The irony is that Amendment 3 fell 100,000 votes shy of the same threshold it establishes for modifying the constitution. In the future an amendment will need to have 440,000 more voters in favor than against it (assuming the same 4.4 million votes).

According to proponents of Amendment 3, the problem is that the threshold for amending the state constitution is too low and thus we have trivial things codified into it like the rights of pregnant pigs. And while that's true, I don't think the answer is to take away our ability to change the law. The answer is a better informed electorate.

In the past, voters have approved amendments to the constitution such as the costly and ill-advised bullet train, that were later repealed by the same voters. Now that has become a whole lot more difficult. It looks like pregant pigs will now remain enshrined in our constitution in perpetuity.

Also on the ballot were proposed Amendements that provide special property tax breaks for veterans and low-income seniors. Both passed, and while I'm always for lowering taxes, by passing amendment 3 we just made it harder to get tax relief for everyone.

Amendment 3 proponents are right about one thing, the majority of Florida voters are D-U-M-B, dumb.

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