The Will of the People

Ain’t worth a damned thing in Illinois. As I have pointed out before Illinois is among the least populist states in the Union. Here we have neither the initiative nor the referendum nor the right to recall state elected officials. There are few limitations on the state’s legislature on how or when the legislators may impose taxes.

There are states that restrict the growth in the state’s budget to various different formulae involving population growth, the general rate of inflation, and other factors. There are states that allow the voters to reject taxes or spending measures. There are states, e.g. Missouri, that require new taxes to be subject to a direct popular vote. Illinois has none of these measures.

The only recourse that the people of Illinois have on taxes and spending is via their elected representatives and, due to the substantial advantages that the two primary political parties have here, for practical purposes it is impossible for anything other than a Democrat or a Republican to get elected here and regular Republicans and regular Democrats have been rejecting any and all reforms that might clean up government here in Illinois as a matter of course. It shouldn’t be surprising that just in my lifetime three of Illinois’s governors (soon to be four) of both parties have served terms in prison for corruption after their terms of office as governor.

This morning the Chicago Tribune has an editorial condemning 61 Democrats in the Illinois House for blocking a vote on a recall amendment. My state representative, a regular Democrat, was one of the 61.

We need the recall in Illinois.

4 comments… add one
  • PD Shaw Link

    Madigan is playing with fire here. I recognize some of these as not safe Democratic seats.

  • I wonder how many of Chicago’s elected officials will need to be tried and convicted on corruption charges before something changes. My guess is all of them.

  • Brett Link

    Indeed. While I’m generally leery of direct democracy on the state level, a recall option is generally a good thing to have.

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