A blog with no real purpose

California Voter's Guide

What a crappy crappy day I had today. I won't go into all the reasons, some were biological and others environmental. But i'm all stressed out right now. My preferred stress reliever had to work tonight, so instead i'm enjoying a glass of fine California wine.

One thing that pissed me off early, happened between classes as I was filling out my absentee ballot. An annoying guy in my class came over and sat down next to me. He obviously thought I was filling out a lotto card.

"Hey, if you win the lottery, do I get some?" he asked.

My first thought was, You couldn't get some offa me even if you won the lottery. Then it occurred to me that he was talking about the winnings.

"No this is an absentee ballot," I told him.

"Oh, are you voting no on all those propositions?" he said.

"What propositions do you mean?"

"Those ones the governator likes."

I paused for effect. "Um, no. i'm actually voting yes on them."

He looked horribly disappointed. "Really?"

"Yes really."

"I voted for him," he added. "But I don't like any of his propositions."

This type of thinking is apparently common, according to the polls. But I was amazed to have actually met someone with that kind of disconnection from reality.

"What's the point of voting for Schwarzenegger if you don't want him to change anything? That makes no sense at all. He can't do it by himself. We might as well have kept Gray Davis."

He obviously hadn't thought about that. "Um, well, it seems like some of those propositions are just 'broken promises.'"

Whoa. That was amazing. Here was a guy who had no idea what was on the ballot, yet he was able to parrot verbatim the Unions' attack ad slogan. That's how effective those anti-Schwarzenegger ads have been.

I wanted to lay into him at that point, but I figured the better solution would be to salvage something positive from an idiot, if possible.

I said, "They're not like that at all. Why don't you read the propositions and vote for the ones that sound good to you."

"Well, I suppose." He seemed open to the idea.

"Good. Promise me you'll do that," I flashed him a smile.

"I will. I promise."

Excellent. I had hopefully converted an idiot.

So here's how I voted for next Tuesday's special election, in case any of you care:

Proposition 73: This measure requires a 48 hour waiting period and parental notification for minors seeking an abortion. This is probably just a ploy to get conservatives to the polls, but I figure it might actually bring just as many pro-abortion voters out. Since i'm against abortion, i'm in favor of any restrictions, no matter how incremental. I voted YES.

Proposition 74: This is the first of the four Schwarzenegger propositions. This measure increases the amount of time a teacher must work before getting tenure. Right now they can get tenure after two years. The initiative bumps it up to five years. Sounds reasonable to me. YES.

Proposition 75: According to the Secretary of State this initiative prohibits "the use by public employee labor organizations of public employee dues or fees for political contributions except with the prior consent of individual public employees each year on a specified written form." That's a no-brainer. YES.

Proposition 76: This is the initiative that promises to make the State government "live within its means." I hope it passes, and if it does, I hope it works. YES.

Proposition 77: This measure is supposed to reform California's gerrymandered districts by taking redistricting out of the hands of the politicians and letting a panel of retired judges draw the lines. Not a perfect solution, but better than the current system, which leaves the foxes in charge of the henhouse. YES.

Proposition 78: One of two competing prescription drug discount initiatives. I voted for this one rather than 79, which is more flawed. YES.

Proposition 79: This prescription drug scheme relies on state bureaucrats to negotiate discounts, instead of the free market. But the worst thing is that it creates a whole new loophole for greedy plaintiff lawyers to file frivoulous lawsuits based on technicalities. NO.

Proposition 80: I don't know what to think about this measure, which purports to repeal California's energy deregulation. I can see arguments both ways on this one. However, i'm generally in favor of deregulation, so I voted NO.

The four Schwarzenegger supported propositions are 74, 75, 76 and 77. The polls say they're all going down. But the polls have been wrong before, and I hope at least 76 and 77 win. That could really start some changes here in California, which is a state that is much more conservative than its legislature. Though most people don't realize it.