Nov 3, 2008

End of the Road

This is it. Finally.

Tomorrow we get to resolve this election, after what seems like four years of campaigning.

In the spirit of being an independent voter, I've assembled my own list of California ballot initiatives, read the analysis and arguments on the state site and made decisions without consulting the Democrat or Republican parties.

Here's how it shakes out:

Prop 1A- Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century
Me: YES Democrats: YES Republicans: NO

My Take: This sounds like Progress to me. Our local rail systems are modern, but our long-distance rail is incredibly outdated. We need a viable high-speed rail system.

Prop 2- Treatment of Farm Animals
Me: NO Democrats: YES Republicans: NO

My Take: The penalties are so minor that the only people likely to suffer are smaller producers. The examples are all about pigs and other large mammals, but it really only hits egg producers in California. I don't oppose making life better for chickens, but I'm not in a big hurry to spend money on it at this particular time.

Prop 3- Children’s Hospital Bond Acts
Me: NO Democrats: YES Republicans: NO

My Take: Since it has nothing specifically to do with "children's hospitals," rather than hospitals in general, I find the name crass and irritating in a "PATRIOT Act" sort of way.

Prop 4- Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor’s Pregnancy
Me: NO Democrats: NO Republicans: YES

My Take: Who does this help? Kids who are already able to come to their parents in time of crisis and discuss abortion don't need this law, and kids who face real danger from their parents if they reveal a pregnancy can only be hurt by it.

Prop 5- Nonviolent Offenders. Sentencing, Parole and Rehabilitation
Me: YES Democrats: YES Republicans: NO

My Take: Jails are overcrowded and expensive. We imprison people far too often for things that I don't even think should be crimes. Nonviolent drug offenses get hugely disproportionate sentences and this chips away at that a little.

Prop 6- Criminal Penalties and Laws / Public Safety Funding
Me: NO Democrats: NO Republicans: YES

My Take: Throwing more money at crime brings diminishing returns. I think we're already seeing that, as our crime rate is relatively low, historically. "More Police" sounds good, but I just don't feel like we have too few.

Prop 7- Renewable Energy
Me: NO Democrats: NO Republicans: NO (not very popular, is it?)

My Take: Nobody likes this.

Prop 8- Same Sex Marriage Ban
Me: NO Democrats: NO Republicans: YES

My Take: If you vote YES for this, please don't tell me. I will think less of you.

Prop 9- Criminal Justice System. Victims’ Rights. Parole.
Me: NO Democrats: NO Republicans: YES

My Take: This overlaps a lot of existing California law, needlessly. It also is endorsed by PEOPLE WHO TYPE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, which leads me to believe it is not well thought-out.

Prop 10- Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Renewable Energy
Me: NO Democrats: NO Position Republicans: NO

My Take: Nobody likes this one, either.

Prop 11- Redistricting
Me: YES Democrats: NO Republicans: No Position

My Take: It has always seemed pretty dodgy to let the politicians who are currently in power draw voting districts.

Prop 12- Veterans’ Bond Act of 2008
Me: YES Democrats: YES Republicans: YES

My Take: Similar bond issues have been pretty much paid for by the recipients' mortgage payments, so I don't see any reason not to do it again. We owe the military an awful lot of late.

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