Monday, October 25, 2010

On California Elections/Voting

So I figure since this blog is at least part-time political, and I certainly have my share of political opinions, I should probably weigh in on my views on the various electoral races/issues for the state of California (where I reside: LA, in particular, for reference). My views will probably be familiar to regular readers, but perhaps there will be some surprises, and maybe it'll be of use to someone who's otherwise undecided.

I'll preface by saying I've noticed some trends, which will probably not come as a surprise to anyone. I'm generally for the same things which taxpayer organizations support; I'd guess this is because we both feel the same way about the government taking more of people's money. I'm generally against issues supported by the various public employee unions; this is partially because they usually want more money from taxpayers, but also because predominant unions like the SEIU are scum. Using these two principles, you could probably predict at least 90% of my views on issues, even though I don't use either as a basis for forming said views; that's just an observation.

Anyway, on to opinions.

Proposition 19
I'm for this, but not for the standard reasons. I'm a little ashamed to say that I've never smoked pot (not even in the Bill Clinton sense), and I wouldn't plan to even if it were legal. I don't really care if people smoke pot, though, since it less dangerous than alcohol. I support this proposition, though, because it will advance the conflict between states' rights and federal government control, and I strongly favor limiting federal government control. The federal government has no Constitutional mandate to police drug/medical activity, and it would be nice to see more states pushing back on their expansions of power. If this puts California in the forefront of the fight to take control of our lives back from the federal government, I'll deal with some extra pot smoke being around.

Proposition 20
I grudgingly support this. I dislike committees generally speaking, but in this case it's better than the alternative of rampant corruption and gerrymandering which is the clear alternative.

Proposition 21
Obviously I oppose this thinly-disguised attempt to raise taxes on people, so that the politicians in Sacramento can waste more money on crap. Seriously, anyone who thinks initiatives like this do any good whatsoever needs to have their head examined, or get educated, or something.

Proposition 22
This is the "stop the state from stealing money from people to paper over the massive deficits fueled by ridiculous out-of-control spending" initiative. What's not to like? I think this is a good idea, like most similar efforts to try to hold our political corruption and spending disintegration in check: it's an uphill battle in California, to be sure, but a noble effort. You'd think bill which essentially said "the state can't act illegally in this manner" would be unnecessary, but this is California...

Proposition 23
This is a pretty reasonable idea: don't enforce pollution control restrictions which hurt businesses until unemployment is under control, and people are working again. Of course, with the direction the state is going, this might be a permanent "suspension", but that's more the fault of the politicians who have systematically destroyed the business environment in the state. I'm in favor of this bill, if only as an incentive to fix the business situation, and counter-balance to the efforts to destroy it.

Proposition 24
It seems to me like a bad idea to tax businesses more and create tax uncertainty during a recession, but maybe that's just me. I guess if you want jobs, you should oppose this bill; if you feel there are just too many businesses and jobs (and too much tax revenue from each) in California, you should support this bill. You can guess which position I feel is more accurate.

Proposition 25
This is probably the worst of this year's crop of initiatives. The only thing standing between the politicians and utterly destroying the state even faster is the 2/3 rule for budgets, which forces the politicians to at least consider fiscal restraint. Removing this would be financial suicide. And as if that wasn't contemptible enough, the pushers added a totally unrelated populist provision to deny legislators their salaries and benefits while budgets are not passed (a provision which would be meaningless if the initiative passed, since they could rape the state with a simple majority, so we wouldn't have late budgets any more, we'd have unmitigated disasters delivered on-time), so they could campaign on the populist provision, and hope people were too stupid to pay attention to the other part. This is the worst kind of political deception, and I detest it, and its supporters. I encourage people to take a look at the donors list for supporting this proposition: these are the enemies of the people, the groups leading California to destruction.

Proposition 26
This is a solid bill: it closes a loophole which our state government has been exploiting, and will continue to exploit, to raise taxes without a 2/3 majority. It's sad that the voters need to close legal loopholes when the intent is so clear to begin with, but that's the depth of the corruption in California politics.

Proposition 27
Since I support Proposition 20, it's probably obvious that I oppose 27, the "let the politicians draw districts for maximum advantage, manipulation, and potential corruption" initiative. I don't know that there's much more to say: if you favor bribery, corruption, and less accountability for politicians, I guess you should support this, otherwise it's a clear 'no' vote.

Well, that's it for the propositions... I'll cover the elections later, where I'll express my opinions on which candidates are less bad for each position (in my opinion). Here's hoping we (the voters) don't mess the state up any worse than it already is this year.

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