The Republican line on Amendment C has been that the Legislature has to muster a two-thirds vote to approve new taxes and special spending bills, so why should voters get to pass similar fiscal measures with a simple majority?
Terry Woster answers that question smartly in this editorial against Amendment C:
Currently, the constitution says legislators must have a two-thirds majority to impose or raise a tax. Citizens, though, can do those things with a simple majority. In other words, it’s easier for the people to make tax decisions than it is for the elected senators and representatives to do that.
To me, that makes sense. Citizens as a whole should have an easier time passing and repealing laws than their elected representatives do. The people rule, after all.
…I believe citizens acting as a group usually make the right decisions. That’s why I accept the outcome of elections, whether I like the results or not. I also think citizens, acting as a group, sometimes make mistakes. But the decisions of citizens, even the mistakes, should be made by a simple majority, not a supermajority, whether it’s 60 percent or two-thirds or any other number. If it takes more than a simple majority to make the decisions, then the minority rules.
Amendment C would let the minority rule on some issues [Terry Woster, “Why Amendment C Should Bring Urgency to South Dakotans to Vote in the Primary,” Mitchell Republic, 2022.05.09].
Bread for the World also opposes minority rule. The anti-hunger group notes that we impose supermajority rules on the Legislature because the Legislature can rush bills to passage far more quickly than we citizens can through the far longer, more deliberative, and more open initiative process:
What about the argument by some state legislators that because they must have 2/3 to pass spending bills, the public should have a higher threshold too? (1)The logic for their higher vote threshold is based on the fact that their bills can often pass super quickly, even a matter of a day or two, with little time for consideration. But the public has a whole year, even up to two, to deliberate ballot measures, with both sides having plenty of time to make their case to the public. (2)What those legislators fail to mention is that about 90% of their spending passes with only a simple majority in their annual budget bill. Thus, it would be extremely unfair to require more than a simple majority for voters’ ballot measures [Bread for the World, statement on Amendment C, retrieved from Breadsd.org 2022.05.11].
Black Hills photographer Paul Horsted agrees with Bread for the World and Woster that minority rule is bad. He puts some of his buffalo pix to work to call on voters to “Shred Amendment C“:
The South Dakota Democratic Party is spending some money to take down this anti-democratic measure. Senator Reynold Nesiba (D-15/Sioux Falls) provided a quote and his smiling economist’s face for this anti-C postcard:
As Senator Troy Heinert put it when the Legislature voted last year to put Amendment C on the 2022 primary ballot, Amendment C is part of the Republican Party’s “systematic assault on the will of the people.” Minority rule is not cool. Vote NO on C today!