Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Michigan Democratic Party: Resolution in Support of Right to Referendum

LANSING -- At their 2014 Convention this past weekend, the Michigan Democratic Party accepted a resolution "In Support of Michigan’s Constitutional Right to Referendum."

The resolution is in response to the recent "Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act," which was approved in the Michigan Senate on Aug. 13, 2014, and may be voted on tomorrow, Wednesday, Aug. 27, in the Michigan House. This Act, which includes an appropriation of $1 million in funding for Asian carp control (and thus not subject to referendum), is intended to undermine the two November ballot proposals that would allow voters to decide whether Michigan should continue to have a wolf hunting season.

According to Nancy Warren, National Wolfwatcher Coalition Great Lakes Regional director, "The Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act is not based on science and has nothing to do with conservation. We hope lawmakers have the courage to stand up for democratic ideals by voting No on Wednesday, thus insuring voters can decide in November."

The following is the text of the Michigan Democratic Party's resolution:

In Support of Michigan’s Constitutional Right to Referendum

WHEREAS, the Michigan State Constitution gives citizens the democratic right to challenge laws with which they do not agree, by means of a referendum petition campaign, and

WHEREAS,  wolves are an invaluable part of Michigan’s ecosystem and are only now beginning to recover after being hunted to the brink of extinction, and

WHEREAS, wolves are held in public trust and should be protected from a reckless hunt which is not based on sound science but rather on misinformation, skewed statistic and fabricated stories, and

WHEREAS, farmers, ranchers and other landowners are already allowed to kill wolves to protect their livestock or dogs and there are currently effective lethal and non-lethal methods of dealing with problem wolves in the rare instances where they cause a threat to property or public safety, and

WHEREAS, the state legislature passed Public Act 21 in 2013, giving the Michigan Natural Resources Commission the right to decide which animals will be hunted in Michigan with no input from the people of Michigan, and

WHEREAS, the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act was put in front of the Legislature in 2014 to make the basic tenet of Public Act 21 permanent and referendum-proof, despite a successful referendum that would have allowed Michiganders to vote to overturn PA 21

WHEREAS, successful initiative petition campaigns that go directly to the state legislature rob voters of their democratic right to decide

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party endorse the efforts of the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected campaign and urge our members to vote NO on making wolves a game species and any ballot question that takes power away from the people and puts our wildlife at risk.

Editor's Note: Thanks to Nancy Warren for sending us the text of this Resolution.

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