Supreme court rules signatures initiative signatures are not protected

Discussion in 'Politics' started by FA_Q2, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. FA_Q2
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    FA_Q2 Gold Member

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  2. Barb
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    Barb Carpe Scrotum

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    A vote is a weighing in on something or someone already introduced to the public. A petition is an effort to introduce or influence public policy that effects everyone. The community has a right to know, before they decide their vote, ALL information regarding who is pushing for the change in policy, and why they would be advocating such.

    For instance, I could be a business owner who started a petition to change zoning...other people who signed my petition could have a vested interest in seeing my proposed change pass. My and their interests might not coincide with the interests of the communities long-term interests, but how would the public know what they're being asked to cosign with their vote or support without a clue to the interests of those who signed, without knowing who they are, or what their underlying interests are?
     
  3. goldcatt
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    goldcatt Catch me if you can! Supporting Member

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    Signing a petition is a public act, and its only purpose is for the petitioners to claim public support for a cause or issue using the number of signatures they gather. Signatures they then (usually) turn in to public officials in order to try to influence public policy. Public...public...public....see a pattern here?
     
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  4. 2Parties
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    2Parties Senior Member

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    I'd like to know who supported increasing my taxes to finance government programs like war, medicare, and public parks.

    Make all votes public.
     
  5. Yurt
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    Yurt Gold Member

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    i respectfully disagree....the petition signatures simply get the process to the referendum phase and at that phase is when both parties come out to the public square to convince people to vote a certain way at the ballot. it makes no sense to require the signatures, which are only a small amount of the eligible voters, be public and not the vote at the ballot box, which is really the ultimate action of the civic duty. i would argue the vote is far more important than the signatures on the petition...if the vote is private, what purpose is there to make the signatures public, to publicize your personal information....when during the referendum process is when both sides come out and try to convince everyone to vote a certain way at the ballot box for the petition.

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/09-559.pdf
     
  6. goldcatt
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    goldcatt Catch me if you can! Supporting Member

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    If you're talking specifically about a petition to place a referendum on the ballot, then I have to agree with Barb.

    When a bill is introduced in Congress you can look at the sponsors, their voting histories, their donors, their statements, their party, and other things to get a pretty good handle on what the bill is intended to do. We couldn't do that for Joe the Petition Signer, but they're doing roughly the same thing as Joe the Congressman. Proposing new law. We have the right to know who they are and what their agendas are in order to judge their position and their intent in making this law.
     
  7. Yurt
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    Yurt Gold Member

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    actually....votes in congress are public...so i do not believe you can compare the two as equal...

    as i showed from the case....once they get a measely 4%, it goes into the referendum phase where people come out and publicly try to convince people to vote for the petition at the ballot box...its part and parcel of the same process
     
  8. Luissa
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    Luissa Annoying Customer Supporting Member

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    If Joe Blow can collect your signature, Joe Blow can see it. :D
     
  9. Yurt
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    Yurt Gold Member

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    entirely different than publishing it...and it would be easy to require confidentiality of those obtaining signatures

    next
     
  10. FA_Q2
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    FA_Q2 Gold Member

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    I understand the need to be able to see the people that PROPOSED the petition but that is entirely different then the people that are signing the petition. That is a MAJOR difference. What can you POSSIBLY gain from knowing which Joe Blow signed the petition and which did not. The fear that I have is the same fear that those trying to defend the hidden signatures - that there will be activists willing to try and 'change' their minds. I see no reason for the public to be outed when putting their support behind anything. I is none of your business weather or not I support a particular referendum or not and nothing but bad influence can come from releasing anyone's name.
     
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