The True Champion of Direct Democracy
March 16, 2008 - 10:12am
In Colorado, state legislators are trying to head off a possible Humane Society ballot initiative that would require veal calves and pregnant pigs to be kept in housing that allows them to stand up and turn around.
Why the desperation to stop the Humane Society? Because when the society goes to the ballot, it usually wins.
No organization has a better record at the ballot than the Humane Society of the United States, the true champion of direct democracy. Between 1990 and 2006, HSUS won more than two-thirds of its ballot measure campaigns. (26 out of 38). In most of those efforts, the Humane Society has been on the "yes" side, and "yes" campaigns are far harder to win than "no" campaigns. (About two-thirds of ballot initiatives lose). At the ballot, the Humane Society successfully has sought to ban dove hunting, horse slaughter, cockfighting, and confinement of animals.
The society likes direct democracy so much that it has become one of the leading advocates for protecting the right of the people to make laws directly. It opposes efforts to make it harder to qualify measures, and led the challenge to Florida's Amendment 3, which required a super-majority of 60 percent to pass constitutional amendments there.