It should probably go without saying, but people who know me will tell you: I'm a pretty big fan of democracy. I vote, I encourage others to do the same...heck, I've even suggested in this blog that we make voting mandatory. It's not just a civic right, it's a civic duty, and it should be treated as such. And because I'm such a big proponent of democracy, it usually comes as a pretty big surprise to people that generally speaking, I think ballot initiatives are a terrible idea.
When someone said as much to me ("Are you against democracy?"), I replied with the simple statement, "No, but there's a big difference between democracy and mob rule." A ballot initiative is a single policy statement, made in a vacuum, usually vaguely worded and not made by experts. Rarely can those experts revise it subject to the realities of the situation. Frequently, the election surrounding it is subject to demagoguery and misinformation. To anchor your entire legal system around such statements generally cripples the creation of actual, sensible policy.
Take California, for example. California has been a big fan of the ballot system for a long time, and it shows in their budgetary crisis. They've had ballot initiatives that have overruled necessary-but-unpopular measures like tax increases with rules that hamstring the ability of the state legislature to raise money, passed by people who then turn around and complain that the legislature is ineffective in providing the services they need to live their daily lives. Initiative follows initiative follows initiative, like tying knots in a cord, until the law no longer stretches to where it needs to go.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that lawmakers are always sensible and wise and all-knowing. I read the papers just like everyone else. But the solution is what it's always been. Elect better lawmakers. Term limits and ballot initiatives and other gimmicks to save our system of democracy from itself only create new loopholes for canny criminals to game; the best solution is what it's always been, to put our best people into office and let them make their best decisions.
And to stop voting Republican. Because by this point, it's pretty obvious that "our best people" excludes them almost by definition.