The Initiative process adds a fascinating dynamic to politics. It gives The People a chance to make their voices heard directly, without it being 'misunderstood' by their elected representatives. Get an agreed upon number of voters to sign a piece of paper to get your idea on the ballot. An initiative making it on the ballot is not a bad thing, per se...it still takes a majority of voters to pass it into law.
Sometimes this results in good thing, like the lower tax, smaller government Initiatives that have been championed by Tim Eyman here in Washington.
Sometimes, it has the potential to result in a very, very bad thing, as in the in the initiative that is going to be on the San Franscisco ballot this fall, that would make circumcisions a misdemeanor offense.
Okay...in the big scheme of things, this is just a one goofy, totally out to lunch city. That San Francisco has 7700 people willing to sign this initiative to get it on the ballot does not surprise me. That they weren't smart enough to leave a religious exemption in the measure surprises me. I don't think the initiative has a chance to pass as written now...but with a religious exemption, it might have had a chance. Even if it passes, I am assuming you can still leave town to get your child circumcised, so at most it's an inconvenience.
If you couldn't tell, I am against this bill. I don't think a circumcision is 'Genital Mutilation'...I had mine and don't remember a thing...I continue to be fascinated by my winkie. My wife sees things a little different...as an LPN, she had to assist in a few of these procedures. The little baby boys SCREAM. It's bad...but then it is over. She thinks they need to go back to doing it before the baby leaves the hospital instead of a few weeks later...she thinks things would be easier that way.
In several of his books, Robert Heinlein talks about his 'Bread and Circuses' Theory. It's his idea that once the masses find that they can vote themselves 'bread and circuses' without needing to consider how things will actually be paid for, the end of the Republic is not far away. A dangerous variant of this would the ability to introduce any measure you can get a certain number of people to say 'yeah, I like that!' about. This anti-circumcision bill is a first, dangerous step in this direction.
The main thing I am looking forward to in the next few months is ow many times I can read/hear the word 'Penis' in story's about this topic.