Ballot prop 105, known as “Majority rules”, would require a majority of registered voters to vote in favor for passage, as opposed to a majority of votes cast. This standard would apply only to ballot propositions that raised taxes or fees. The idea is that new laws which reach into your wallet should meet a higher standard than others. It is similar in concept to existing law that requires a two thirds majority vote for the Arizona Legislature to raise taxes.
My first conversation concerning this ballot prop included two Democrat friends, one of whom dropped his jaw with a horrified expression when I said that I liked it. Both friends expressed the idea that any voting standard that deviated from a simple majority of votes cast was certainly an un-American, deviant, evil thing that would bring on plagues of locusts, frogs, et cetera.
I was somewhat taken aback by their visceral negative reaction. It took me a while, but I figured it out. It came down to worldview, our at least, how we see our country. My friends see the simple majority vote as foundational, not as a mere process or tool. To them, the country is great by virtue of the simple majority vote.
They are completely wrong. The foundational principle that makes the country great is individual sovereignty, or liberty/responsibility. Voting is a democratic process that picks, and disciplines, our representatives.
This dichotomy of worldviews accounts the hysteria of my friends. They see the prop as an attack on the foundation of our society, I see it as an appropriate tweaking of a process to adapt that process to a particular law-making instrument.
My friends are not just wrong, there is a dark side to their view. If individual sovereignty is not sacred, but anything done by majority vote is, then we have entered a world of tyranny where forty-nine per cent of the people will be oppressed.