Friday, October 17, 2008

Prop. STFU

The California ballot proposition system started with nothing but good intentions. In the late 1800s, the Southern Pacific Railroad basically ran the state and owned the Legislature and did whatever it wanted to do, which was to build a lot of railroads, I guess. Anyway, the ballot prop was enacted as way to give citizens direct access to government. If you don't live in California, the basic idea is that a ballot prop lets voters directly enact or amend laws.

What started out as a good idea has now become an out-of-control behemoth that makes voting a royal pain in the ass and enables any nutcase with enough money to pay to gather signatures to put whatever kind of cockamamie batshit insane crap on the ballot he or she wants.

Let's take a look at some of the 12 different props for this election. Brief descriptions stolen shamelessly from the Chron.

Prop 1A - Invests $9.95 billion in a zero-emissions, high-speed train network that would make it possible to get from downtown San Francisco to Los Angeles in 2 1/2 hours.

Fuck yeah! Who doesn't want to get to LA in 2 1/2 hours? Plus, fast trains are way cool.

Prop 2 - Establishes standards for the confinement of farm animals, focused on a ban on putting egg-laying hens in cramped cages.

Animals are cute. Yes.

Prop 3 - Provides $980 million in general-obligation bonds to upgrade children's hospitals.

More bonds? Aren't we like billions of dollars short on the budget every year? Sorry, kids. Wear a helmet, don't eat Pizza Rolls every day after school, and don't antagonize mean kids and you'll be fine.

Prop 4 - Requires parental notification at least 48 hours before a minor can obtain an abortion.

Are you fucking kidding me? When I was a kid, I wouldn't tell my Dad if I went to an R-rated movie. You're gonna force girls to get their parents' permission to have a fucking abortion? It's hard enough in the first place. Fuck no.

Prop 5 - Expands drug treatment programs for criminal offenders.

Yes. Duh. If I have to explain why, you're too dumb to vote anyway.

Prop 6 - Increases sentences on gang, drug and gun crimes - and overall commits the state to nearly $1 billion in annual spending.

Oh great! More spending! Christ, can't we just stop spending fucking money for a minute? No. P.S. I know this position might be incompatible with expanding drug treatment immediately above, but fuck it.

Prop 7 - Calls for the state to obtain half its energy from renewable sources by 2025.

I love this one because everyone's against it. Like everyone. If the Sierra Club AND the California Chamber of Commerce are both against it, it must really suck. So no.

Prop 8 - Deprives same-sex couples of the right to marry.

Hmmm, I feel like I've heard something about this somewhere. I have yet to hear anyone make a cogent argument about why gays shouldn't be allowed to marry other than "that's the way it's always been." So the fuck what? Letting a couple of people who love each other get married doesn't affect you at all, so why do you give a fuck?

Christ, there are still more? I'll get to those later.

Happy Friday, everyone! I'm off to Portland tomorrow. Will report back next week on rain, availability of crank, ghost of Elliott Smith, etc.

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