Legislating by constitutional amendment is a bad idea

Dear Editor:

This November, Minnesota voters have some tough choices to make in the area of amendments to our state constitution. These ballot questions have far more to do with how our state is governed than one would think.

Regarding the marriage amendment, I am one who basically agrees with it; however, why should I dictate my beliefs on this question which tells a group of people who they may choose to love or not love.

Regarding the Voter ID amendment, I personally do agree with the requirement to possess a valid ID in which to vote, but certainly can see there may be issues with this and those need to be carefully worked out.

More to the point of both of these questions is the underlying mentality of legislating by constitutional amendment.

Currently the party in control of the Minnesota House and Senate (Republicans) and the Governor (Democrat) don’t see eye on most anything and each has an agenda of their own.

Since the House and Senate can force amendments to the state constitution, they can effectively bypass the governor’s approval or in these cases veto.

In my opinion this is a completely flawed way to govern. We elect our leaders to lead. That should mean working together for the common good of the citizens of the state. But in recent years, the political parties are more and more take it or leave it. Then things don’t get done.

So now the idea of the legislature is to bypass the governor’s desk through constitutional amendment questions. Since the legislature wants us (the voters) to decide these questions, I think we (the voters) should take these amendments a step further. Every year there should a pool of questions us voters come up with. Then in September we could hold a primary and whittle down the questions to five or so, maybe 10 if it’s really a busy year.

In November, we vote the questions up or down and results are agreed upon or declined and the approved ones become law. Common sense would begin to prevail and we might just have a better state government. Oh and by the way, since the voters will make the all the decisions on the ballot questions, we will have no need for the legislature. We can fire all the legislators and take the money we save each year and put it toward our deficits and help those people, programs and schools that have been so hard hit over the years.

Come on, who’s with me on this? This is why legislating by constitutional amendment is such a bad idea. Wake up legislators and political parties, the voters need you to lead. This is why we elected you. Work together and compromise on things, then things will get done. Otherwise the voters may find a way to run the legislature in a different way.

Pete Brown, Cambridge

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