This is the first year I am going to be voting in California and I am psyched because I get to vote on all these wonderful ballot initiatives. (Though I would have liked to have voted in NYC once more if only to vote against a third term for Bloomberg). On most of the ballot initiatives in California I have a clear cut decision but there are a couple that boggle my mind — in particular Proposition 10.
Proposition 10 is a measure to give tax incentives to alternative energy and higher efficiency vehicles. The problem is that I keep reading that the measure favors T. Boone Pickens and his fleet of commercial natural gas-run trucks. For me the jury is still out on T. Boone Pickens. I have been thinking that we need one of these good ol’ boy oil men to take the lead on alternative energy and he seems to be the one doing it. And he seems to be unabashed in his motivation — he wants to make money. But is that necessarily a bad thing? If he makes money doing this, won’t it give incentive to more bad companies to do good stuff? I am not sure. He is supposed to be on 60 Minutes tonight, so I am going to check it out and probably be equally confused. To make matters more annoying, I just learned that he funded the anti-Kerry Swift Boat attack ads.
If people are curious, here is my “uninformed indecisive voter” voter guide for California 2008:
I like high speed trains. I like trains in general. I remember riding the Amtrack Northeast corridor to get back and forth from Providence to New York during college. Back then, they used to have a smoking car. There is something romantically American about riding the rails. The problem with Prop 1 though is that it costs a lot of money, doesn’t guarantee that these high speed trains are actually going to get made, the need for inter-city travel in California is not necessarily that high on my list of priorities.
* Yes on Proposition 2. Requires that farm animals be able to fully extend their limbs, wings, lie down, stand up and turn around.
I love animals. I was a vegan for almost a decade I loved them so much. Now I love to eat them again. But if I am going to eat them I think we should at least give them the dignity of living a normal animal life.
* Yes on Proposition 3. Authorizes $980M for children’s hospitals.
I also love children. And I think more children’s hospitals are a good thing.
* No on Proposition 4. Prohibits minors from getting abortions without parental notification.
This is one of the cut and dry ones for me. I think those that are for this measure are either naive or ignorant. Abortion is such a difficult decision to make and putting a measure like this forward only makes it more difficult. Forcing underage girls who are in a terrible position already to then have to possibly get legal consent from parents (who may have a hand in putting her in this position or may actually do harm to her) is ridiculous. When people argue in favor of this, I tend to hear them talk in terms of some idal fantasy world where everyone has two loving parents that will help and support them; this is not the world we live in.
* Yes on Proposition 5. $460M to expand and improve drug treatment centers.
I have a friend who is an addiction specialist in California and he said to vote yes on this. That’s all I need.
* No on Proposition 6. $965M for police and revisions to about 30 California criminal laws.
I am against funding more jails and law enforcement. We have built a country on punishment rather than rehabilitation. Why do we have a quarter of the world’s prisoners when we have less than 5% of the world’s population? Is it because Americans are in general more criminally inclined? I doubt it.
* No on Proposition 7. A problematic renewable enegy initiative.
Everywhere I look it seems like this is a badly written measure that will actually do more harm than good.
* No on Proposition 8. A proposal to end gay marriage in California.
This is another clear cut choice for me. It actually falls under the category of “waste of time” measures for me. Why do people give a crap if gay people get married? Who the fuck cares!? Let them get married. Let them file joint tax returns and visit one another in the hospital. How does this effect straight people? It truly annoys me that this is the big toss up battle on the measures. There is no money involved. No pork attached. No special interest. It’s just love. Let love love goddamnit!
* No on Proposition 9. A redundant victim’s rights proposal that gives pork to the pigs.
See Proposition 5.
* NO on Proposition 10. Tax incentives for more alternative fuel vehicles and renewable energy.
* Undecided on Proposition 11 (though leaning on No). Redistricting measure.
I need more information. Redistricting seems to be a game that politicians play to stay in power. I am just unsure of who benefits from this.
* Undecided on Proposition 2. $900M for veterans’ homes and farms.
I need more info on this one too. I think my brain is just too full after the first ten. I would like a proposition to limit propositions.
If people have opinions to help me, please comment.