Monday, October 1, 2018

Is there really room on ballot for mayoral term limits referendum?

I can’t help but wondering who with the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners is going to wind up being punished politically for giving aid and comfort to the notion that a referendum question about term limits for the mayor may have some legal merit.
Somebody gave thought to what was right; how dare they!

That question, along with one whether a position of Chicago city consumer advocate ought to be created, are the latest initiatives by Pat Quinn – the former governor who is trying to remain politically active as a man inclined to throw a wrench into the political works.

THUS FAR, THE courts have ruled in ways that say the measures are not valid – saying there already are too many referendum questions on the ballot for Nov. 6 AND that Quinn screwed up in the way he filed the referendum questions.

But as the Chicago Sun-Times reported on Sunday, elections board officials went ahead and had ballots printed up WITH the referendum questions on them. Also, voting machines used in polling places in Chicago will include the issues so people can cast their “yes” or “no” votes.

Officials say they went ahead and did so because they wondered if an appeals court of some form will come up with a ruling making the referendum questions legitimate.

If elections board officials had not shown the initiative to put the issues on the ballot, it would be possible for a court to say they were legitimate questions that could not be on the ballot because there wasn’t enough time to reconfigure everything to include them.

WHICH IS EXACTLY the kind of political chaos that people opposed to including the referendum questions on the ballot would like to see happen.

Just like the intent of the Chicago City Council to come up with three other referendum questions for consideration wasn’t so much because anybody in city government cares about the use of plastic straws in restaurants (an environmental threat), but so as to screw up the intent of anyone who’d want to use a referendum question to measure public support for a concept.

Such as whether or not people should be limited to two terms (of four years apiece) in the office of Chicago mayor.
Emanuel's choice makes term limits issue a moot point, … 

Nobody in a position of political authority really wants anybody messing around with that issue. Out of fear that voters might give a knee-jerk response and say “yes” to the idea. Which would then put political people in a real predicament.

SO IF YOU are of the perspective of the “goo goo” (the good government activist who has some sort of high-minded noble concept of what government ought to be all about), you are probably very pleased with the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.

Because somebody there thought it important enough for votes to be recorded so as to put the issue on the record, even if nothing is done with the vote tallies – an attitude the political hacks of the world most definitely want nothing to do with.

As for the “hacks,” I suspect their priority now will be to ensure that those votes are NEVER counted, or disclosed in any way.

Which if it turns out that the courts continue to say the referendum questions are invalid, is exactly what will happen.

THERE WILL BE no reason to count the votes that people cast on these particular referendum questions. In fact, they will become the ultimate non-issue of the Nov. 6 election cycle.
… but Quinn likely to pursue regardless

In fact, I’m sure there will be some activist types who will start making demands that those votes be counted regardless, and that the vote tallies be publicly disclosed. Something I’m sure the “hacks” will consider to be an act of political heresy

How dare you tell people that maybe a majority of people who bothered to cast ballots would want to limit the stint one can serve as mayor – similar to how we limit the time of anyone as U.S. president! As though the will of the public serves any point in an election.

What next? We’ll probably start hearing from people who say we’ve had too many “Daleys” serve as Chicago mayor. Sorry Bill!


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