Try digitalPLUS for 10 days only $0.99

Readers Respond

News Opinion Readers Respond

Referendums remain constitutionally sound

It's amazing that the Gov. Martin O'Malley would make such an asinine assessment of a referendum process that was approved by the people both at its inception and during the 2012 election cycle ("A referendum on referendums," Nov. 13).

First, the online process created by Del. Neil Parrott, MDPetitions.com, is in no way different from that of the physical forms presented by citizens at community meetings, events and grocery markets across the state. The online petition process serves only as a conduit for those who believe the legislature has gone too far. It allows them to print a physical form that is then signed and returned either to the state Board of Elections or to the group promoting the ballot referendum.

Garnering more than 55,000 signatures is no small feat, especially when the authorization of these signatures in Maryland remains one of the strictest in the nation. Legislators, who seem to have forgotten that they work for the people, not the other way around, should remember that the constitutional amendment allowing petition referendums was approved by a majority of Maryland voters in 1914 and that any change in the process would have to be approved by the voters as well.

The amendment has proven itself as a valuable tool for governmental reform for nearly a century, and it remains the only viable option citizens have to ensure an effective system of checks and balances in the absence of a strong minority party. The will of the people should always trump that of partisan politics.

Hassan Giordano, Baltimore

The writer is chairman of the political action committee Independent Movement PAC.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Why let voters get in the way with democracy?

    It's really a shame! The Democratic Party led by Gov. Martin O'Malley would make it harder for referendums to make it on a ballot ("A referendum on referendums?" Nov. 13).

  • Is The Sun out to make Clinton look bad?

    Is The Sun out to make Clinton look bad?

    The Sun printed a less than endearing photograph of Hillary Rodham Clinton to accompany an article regarding her releasing her emails to the public ("Clinton urges speedy release of her emails," May 20).

  • Metrics of Baltimore's distress

    Metrics of Baltimore's distress

    Reading your paper lately has become quite depressing. Perhaps you could start publishing a front-page table showing the number of people shot to death each day, plus the number of heroin overdose deaths and the number of infants delivered in the city's hospitals.

  • Hogan targets the arts

    Hogan targets the arts

    Since 1979, the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts has been a uniquely valuable community resource — as an arts education center for all ages, as a performing arts space for many genres, and as a home for the resident artists and arts companies that contribute so much to the life of Annapolis.

  • Transit can save motorists more than reduced tolls

    Transit can save motorists more than reduced tolls

    Gov. Larry Hogan's recent toll reductions ("What price for lower tolls?" May 7) may be politically popular, but it's not the most effective or sustainable way to reduce the cost of transportation for Maryland families.

  • Mosby has handled the Gray case well so far

    Mosby has handled the Gray case well so far

    Commentators Steven H. Levin and Jason M. Weinstein call on Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby to conduct a full and fair grand jury investigation of the Freddie Gray case, but they seem to have already conducted their own investigation and dismissed all charges against the officers...

Comments
Loading

64°