Guiding Principles for the Reform of Initiative and Referendum

In considering the League’s Initiative & Referendum position, the state study group has done something not done before—it’s attempting to tap into the things that are more timeless—the principles, values and general concepts that will allow the League to address issues we haven’t seen before or technologies we can’t foresee. Consensus Question 12 is that vehicle. The idea is to use the results from Consensus Question 12 to craft language into the League’s position to allow broad use going into the future.

It’s not an easy question because it has multiple parts. From a list of principles from A (accessibility) to T (transparency), you’ll rate a principle from critical to unimportant, decide which stage of the process it applies to, and whether it applies to an initiative or a referendum. Then, you’ll prioritize the list. Whew. The result of all this work will be a gold mine of information to the study committee.

Here are the principles members will weigh in on at the San Francisco Consensus Meetings on March 11th and March 23rd:

1. Accessibility

2. Accountability

3. Amendability

4. Authenticity

5. Comprehensibility

6. Availability of compromise at some point or points in process

7. Concentration of power (avoid)

8. Deliberation

9. Expertise

10. Flexibility

11. Impartiality

12. Integrity

13. Respect for stakeholder rights

14. Transparency

15. Other

Reflecting on the principles and values which should guide reform is an important step to take before considering and prioritizing reform ideas. Next week, we will look at Consensus Question 6, ranking some of the reform ideas.

See the previous posts on the Initiative & Referendum Study:

1. An Initiative and Referendum Primer

2. LWVC Current Position on I&R

3. Historic Summary

4. Current Context

5. I & R Reforms – Back to Original Intent?

6. Failures of the I&R Process

LWVSF thanks LWV North County San Diego for this post.

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