The Deseret News ran two separate opinion pieces on Friday, April 9, calling for people to sign the ethics initiative to get it on the ballot this November.  Part of each article states that even if the initiative has some significant problems with it, shouldn’t we let it get on the ballot and let the people decide?  No, we shouldn’t.

Bad ideas should be shut down and put away as early on in the process as possible.  You can vote against the initiative by not signing the petition.  Simply saying “let the voters decide” is ignoring history and prior bad decisions made in similar situations.

The McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill was passed when President Bush was in office and he flatly stated that he believed that the bill was not constitutional but he would sign it anyway and let the Supreme Court strike it down.  The Supreme Court, to its everlasting shame decided that political speech is not as protected as it should be.  The bill was unconstitutional and the Supreme Court got it wrong.

The Deseret News now wants to repeat the same mistake President Bush made.  If you think the ethics initiative is a bad idea, don’t sign it.  We should not be testing the wisdom of the electorate on serious matters like this.  I personally do not trust the electorate to make the best decisions because of slick advertising and marketing.

Marketing overcomes substance much of the time.  Ever heard of buyer’s remorse?  The advertising and selling of ideas is often accomplished in an unfair and unethical way just to win the election in November because when the vote is over, it is then too late and we are stuck until the next election.

Broken campaign promises are so common they are a cliche’.  Senator Hatch said that 24 years was too long as a senator when he defeated Frank Moss in 1974, over thirty years ago.  Senator Bennett said he would quit after one term if he did not make a significant difference and is now in a battle for his fourth term.

For more information about why the ethics initiative is a bad idea, please see these posts from Holly on the Hill, she has done a good job citing to problems with the initiative and discussing the ideas.  “Utah’s unethical ethics initiative“, “Major flaw in ethics initiative“, and “Is it really about ethics reform?

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