Don’t know? Vote “No”

Florida voters have voted on everything from gambling, term limits, land use, taxes, gay marriage, smoking in public, and pregnant pigs. I kid you not — there is an amendment in the Flori-duh constitution that guarantees the rights of pregnant pigs. The constitution! And pigs! You can’t make up nonsense like this.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Saturday, October 20, 2012

In 1968, Florida adopted a new constitution that provided a mechanism to amend the state’s constitution through ballot initiative. The new right was first exercised in 1976, when the “Sunshine Amendment” — which related to ethics in government and financial disclosure for elected officials — was approved.

Since then, there have been 124 proposed constitutional amendments for voters to consider. Of those, 54 percent have been put on the ballot by the state Legislature, 26 percent by citizens and 19 percent by the Constitutional Review Commission or the Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Committee.

Florida voters have voted on everything from gambling, term limits, land use, taxes, gay marriage, smoking in public, and pregnant pigs. I kid you not — there is an amendment in the Flori-duh constitution that guarantees the rights of pregnant pigs. The constitution! And pigs! You can’t make up nonsense like this.

Since 1976, 58 percent of proposed amendments on the ballot have passed with an average of 75 percent approval by voters. The Legislature’s proposals have the best success rate, at 88 percent approved. Of the 67 times the Mensas in Tallahassee have attempted a ballot initiative, voters have approved all but eight — an 88 percent pass rate.

The Capitol clans’ record would be even better had the Legislature not gotten in the way of itself in 2006. That year, the Legislature proposed a supermajority amendment requiring all future amendments on the ballot to pass by at least 60 percent. This was done because the Legislature doesn’t really like citizens poking around with public policy — such as when they got the public schools class-size amendment initiative on the ballot, which voters passed in 2002.

Click here to read the full column in today’s Tampa Tribune.

What’s your opinion? Leave comments here or on TBO.com using your Facebook account. Don’t forget to “Like.”

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him atChris@IrreverentView.com.

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4 thoughts on “Don’t know? Vote “No””

  1. Chris,

    The “pregnant pig” amendment passed because the amendment was written in such a fashion that a “NO” vote approved the amendment.

    Thank you for the column. Most voters will never read the amendment before voting and will vote all yes, all no or an alternating pattern of yes – no.

    Now if you can get this information on National TV, our Florida Voters will have the information about voting on the FLORIDA amendments!

    Thanks again.

    Dan Moore

    Like

  2. I appreciate your letter in today’s Tampa Tribune. I hope it is widely read and helps to stop the arrogant, junior high school level maturity moe moes in Tallahassee.

    Like

  3. Actually Dan, the Pig amendment was a “Yes” vote and it passed by almost 800,000 more in favor. Still, the point remains the same…

    Chris Ingram

    Like

  4. I read your opinion piece in the Tampa Trib this morning, and am pleased to say I agree 100%. The legislature is getting so that it is either lazy, or it wants to point the blame for stupid laws back on the voters. I’m urging my Facebook and Twitter followers to say “no” to the judges getting retained as well… In the past few years, they’ve shown themselves to be self-centered political hacks, not worthy to judge the affairs of the citizens.

    Wishing you well,

    Steve

    Like

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