Rep. Haugaard hates the petition/initiative process because he says ‘Direct Democracy’ doesn’t work.

Haugaard said this, this morning during the legislative coffee; “Direct democracy doesn’t work.” I about fell out of my chair laughing. Once again, another state legislator makes a ridiculous statement NOT based on facts.

First, let’s look to direct democracy in our state. Many of the greatest changes in state law have occurred due to initiatives, some of the worst changes in state law have occurred in the state legislature. I could go thru a long list of examples, but you know what I am talking about.

As for internationally, the Swiss people have had ‘Direct Democracy’ for decades and it works and is very popular. The Swiss people vote on laws 4 times a year and voter turnout is around 50% over the past 30 years (Americans are around 50% over the same time period in national elections). A recent poll shows 65% of Swiss people are satisfied with their government (Americans are at about 58% but another 61% want to see ‘significant changes’). On top of that the Swiss people have one of the highest standard of living in the world. Switzerland rates #2 in the world for per capita wealth.

I challenge Mr. Haugaard to tell a Swiss citizen that “Direct democracy doesn’t work.” They would certainly disagree. Not only does it work, it lifts people up in more ways then you can even imagine. Leave the petition/initiative process alone, it’s not broken and it works extremely well. Our state legislature, not so much.



4 comments ↓

#1 The Un-Affiliated Progressive on 02.09.19 at 12:58 pm

If Kristi Noem were not Governor one would think an episode of the Handmaiden’s Tale would be shot in South Dakota.

#2 Wirelessly Irradiated on 02.10.19 at 10:01 am

A little push back. Switzerland says it has a Republican form of gov’t with a Parliament plus seven heads of various Federal Depts. Granted, it does have more Direct Democracy initiatives, but even those must go before the Parliament for more deliberative discussion & reasoning.

http://swiss-government-politics.all-about-switzerland.info/

#3 Wirelessly Irradiated on 02.10.19 at 10:04 am

Also, the tremendous holding by Swiss banks & their reputation for strict privacy may have just a bit to do with their wealth.

#4 The Guy from Guernsey on 02.11.19 at 9:24 am

Rep Haugaard hates the referendum / initiated measure process because he dislikes the accountability to constituents which is brought to him and his colleagues who are elected to our service in the statehouse.

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