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Propositions

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I had been thinking about writing up my thoughts about California's ballot propositions, but didn't manage to go through them all in detail until tonight, and now need to go sleep.

But as it's turned out, most of them provided me with a fairly straightforward/clear choice, and I'm voting what appears to be the liberal party line straight down the ballot. The UCSB Daily Nexus endorsement list more or less summarizes my positions--I'm voting in the direction they recommend on the first ten ballot measures, though I don't 100% agree with every word of their statements.

I'm less certain about Prop 11. Clearly the current districting system is bad. Is this proposed alternative better? I'm not sure, despite a useful article from the LA Weekly, but I'm willing to be convinced. (Note that CA Democratic Party chair Art Torres says Prop 11 gives too much power to Republicans--but then, he's got a vested interest in saying that.) (PS: the Redistricting Game taught me most of what I think I know about redistricting; if you don't know about it, worth a look. Warning: yet another online game that eats free time. Maybe you should wait to try it 'til after the election.)

And although Prop 12 (housing for veterans) looks good, and is apparently opposed only by perennial ballot antagonist Gary Wesley, I need to look at it again when I'm more awake. (See also column in favor of 12 from the LA Times.)

I also have a couple of qualms about Propositions 7 and 10, the two probably-misleading environmental items. In both cases, the No arguments, and their long lists of organizations opposed, are pretty convincing (when the Sierra Club opposes an allegedly pro-environmental measure, there's clearly something unusual going on)--but given that John Vasconcellos supports 7 and Ron Dellums supports 10, it makes me wonder if I'm missing something.

Anyway, I'll make final decisions about 11 and 12 in the morning, along with all four Santa Clara County measures, and the local City Council candidates, and President. In the meantime, here are a couple of useful resources:

  • League of Women Voters' Smart Voter site--useful info about candidates for even tiny local races.
  • Project Vote Smart--still doesn't have quite as much info as I would like (and still has trouble getting candidates to fill out their questionnaire), but does have some.
  • Candidate statements on the CA Secretary of State website.

. . . Entirely unrelated PS: Last night I was poking around on Jonathan Coulton's music page, and for the past 24+ hours I've had the chorus of "Re: Your Brains" running through my head. Make it stop! I tried replacing it with the chorus of "Code Monkey," but "Brains" is a mighty catchy earworm.

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The lack of knowledge of some folks on propositions is appalling.

Last night I heard a talk radio caller say that the "homos put prop 8 on the ballot so they can get married" (And they must be stopped!) Fortunately the host corrected the caller and pointed out that it was NOT the gay marriage advocates who put Prop 8 on the ballot; the other side did.

Would almost be funny if it weren't so sad. I would like to say this is an outlier, the caller must have been a part of some tiny minority who don't even know the basic facts about Prop 8. But that's probably not true.


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