Lately, it seems like city government has been pushing everything through to a vote. Even King County has created Proposition 1 to let voters decide if they want to save Metro bus service in a first-ever special county election. And the Seattle City Council has decided to ask the public to cast their votes on the proposed Metropolitan Parks Districts this August.
Letting those actually impacted by the decisions make them is a great idea, although it’s very costly to pay for elections, especially special elections.
Some would argue, why bother with the middleman? The Seattle political process is not efficient. We like to form committees, conduct studies, hold meetings, but there never quite seems to be a decision that comes out of it.
City leaders work tirelessly and, most of the time, thanklessly. Still, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t and shouldn’t strive to be more efficient.
Allowing citizens to vote is a critical part of the democratic process. So even though local governments are making fewer decisions themselves, we’d rather have the decisions in our hands — we’ll certainly get lots of practice.