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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Sunday, October 31, 2004
Bean's California Ballot Guide
Your wait is over. Here's how I'm voting. You can print this out and take it to your poling place! Since I'm married to ball-and-chain and we went through the ballot together, I can tell you that this is her ballot too.

President: George W. Bush
Senator: Bill Jones
State Measures:
64: Yes
69: Yes
all the rest: No

While Nomad looked at the California Republican and Libertarian recommendations, I found it instructive to compare the Republican with the Democratic. I used this simple algorithm:
On all measures for which the Republicans and Democrats agree, (regardless of whether they agree Yes or No) I vote No.
On all measures for which the Republicans and Democrats disagree, I vote the way the Republicans suggest.

The reason for the first rule is a contrarian opinion about ballot measures voiced well by Ralphie. I think the reason we elect a legislature is to, um, pass good laws. The initiative process has become a way for the legislature to dodge responsibility for issues and pass the buck to us. Any issue that the Reps and Dems agree on sounds either irrelevant or something the legislature should pass and leave me out of. It just doesn't smell right. While I wouldn't go as far as Ralphie and get rid of ballot measures entirely (prop 13, after all, was a landmark in tax restraint) I think it's smart to approach them with suspicion and to have your default vote on them be "No" (rather than having the default be abstention, which would be appropriate for example in a vote for a judicial position in which you've never heard of the candidates).

After applying this algorithm, I reviewed the list again, since there were a few propositions on which I had specific opinions. It turned out that the algorithm served me well and I didn't have to change a single vote. Interestingly, Dennis Prager recommends the same votes on the initiatives, though he doesn't give us reasons or analysis.

On some specific measures I will include my analysis below in Nomad's California Ballot Initiatives post, and I'll include the Democratic recommendations. I'm surprised that we disagree on a few.
Thank you Doctor Bean for sharing your views. Allow me to share mine:

1A - YES. Good for cities (yours and mine), bad for the big spenders in Sacramento.

59 - YES. Good government is transparent (mostly) and accountable.

60 - YES. Primaries are good for parties.

60A - YES. Reduce state deficit, rather than spend, extra income.

61 - NO. All bond measures are for worthwhile heartstring-pulling projects. This one is no exception. I vote NO because (1) CA's debt is large enough already, (2) CA can pay for this without a bond measure by cutting spending elsewhere, and (3) if Californians REALLY want it, they'll override my NO vote.

62 - NO. Don't mess with my primary and I won't mess with yours.

63 - NO. France has a "screw the rich" attitude, too. I don't want to be French.

64 - YES. Fewer frivolous lawsuits.

65 - NO. See 1A.

66 - NO. I hate real-life "Get out of jail free" cards.

67 - NO. Same reasoning as for 61.

68 - NO. Schwarzenegger says NO and that's good enough for me on this one.

69 - NO. This was my toughest decision, but I'm going to vote NO for Big-Brother reasons.

70 - NO. Like 68, I'm following Schwarzenegger's lead.

71 - NO. Public money to experiment with embryos? It will increase CA's debt and it's probably evil.

72 - NO. Bad for business. Let people be responsible for their own health care.
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