Wednesday, November 7, 2007
The mood of the voters moves to and fro. In some years, voters’ consternation over taxes impels them to restrict government; in other years, they want government to make our communities more perfect. In Oregon, the voters yesterday approved by a wide margin a change in state law, called Measure 49, that rolled back some of the property-rights provisions that they approved three years ago, through Measure 37. Democrats, environmentalists, and metro residents typically supported the latest change. Among many complicated provisions, Measure 49 restricts new housing and commercial development in certain areas. While Measure 37 was sold as “protecting property rights” from government laws that lower property values, Measure 49 was touted as shielding areas from “excessive” growth. As such, it’s not surprising that voters voted for both … or that property-rights advocates are already gearing up for the next round of referenda in Oregon.
Meanwhile, although the turnout in Oregon was said to be fairly good, the turnout for the “off-year” election near me in St. Petersburg, Florida, was reported to be about 9 percent. Democracy at work ….