Editorial: Don’t lock ballot proposal foolishness into Constitution

Detroit Free Press

Proposal 6

If Michiganders vote for this proposal, they’ll be twisting the state’s Constitution to protect a billionaire monopolist’s control of an international crossing.

In the history of absurd ballot proposals, this one easily takes the crown.

Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel (Matty) Moroun bought Proposal 6’s way onto the ballot, and his family would be the sole beneficiaries if it passes. A statewide vote would be required to build a public bridge to complement the 83-year-old Ambassador.

But the proposed second crossing — which has the blessing of the Canadian government, Michigan’s governor and the U.S. Department of Transportation — would not be the only casualty.

The amendment is worded so poorly that it could hamper efforts to get any bridge built, anywhere in Michigan.

Talk about government gridlock.

The simple point is that a bridge is nothing more than a road across the water. It’s an infrastructure project that’s not different from highway expansions or rebuilding, or even routine roadwork.

Moroun has made the road to Canada into a much bigger issue because it affects his business, but that doesn’t change its fundamental nature.

Amending the Constitution to make building roads more difficult would set Michigan back unnecessarily, and contribute, like Proposals 2 and 5, to an unmanageable state of governance.