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October 19, 2008

Gabe's Guide to California Props, Speedvoter Edition

I've been meaning to write about the California ballot propositions (for our California readers and anyone else who may care) since September and never got around to it. There are twelve this year, including a farm animal prop, an abortion prop, and the big one: gay marriage.

The first chance I had to sit down and consider them was when I was filling out my mail-in ballot. So it's not an epic length discussion of their pros and cons like I really would have wanted. Instead, here's what my first and only thoughts were:

Prop 1A: A bond for a "safe, reliable high-speed passenger train" from the Bay area to SoCal. Do I want to pay for part of a forty billion dollar train which I will never use and which will, after construction, never turn a profit?

Answer and Vote: NO. Besides, anything which provides high-speed access for the nut'n'crunchy San Fransisco crowd to my neighborhood is a bad idea.

Prop 2: Requires that farm animals be allowed, for the majority of every day, to be able to move around, fully extend their limbs, and build the windmill. Do I want to pay more for meat?

Answer and Vote: NO.

Prop 3: Two billion dollars for UC children's hospitals. Is this necessary?

Answer and Vote: NO. In case you didn't know, there is no epidemic of children ailing in the streets for lack of a proper UC children's hospital.

Prop 4: Forty-eight hour waiting period and parental notification before minor's abortion. Do I think that parents should at least be notified of their daughter's medical decisions?

Answer and Vote: Yes. Srsly, a minor can't actually make any other medical decisions without the parents' permission. At the very least, parents need to be informed of this one.

Prop 5: One billion annually for nonviolent offender drug rehabilitation programs. Do I think that we should limit the court's authority to incarcerate drug offenders or parole violators?

Answer and Vote: HELL NO. I actually had a friend who worked on the statistical analysis for this to determine if rehab in lieu of imprisonment reduced recidivism. It didn't. At. All.

Prop 6: Makes "approximately 30 revisions to California criminal law." Well, what the hell does that mean?

Answer and Vote: NO. First, because you made me look it up. Second, because it also contains rehabilitation funding. Third, because several of its provisions are likely unconstitutional or should be. (And, yes, I know it also contains a provision which prohibits the release on bail of illegal aliens charged with violent or gang-related felony; too much burden for that one benefit.)

Prop 7: Renewable energy mandates. Do I want to pay more for electricity?

Answer and Vote: NO.

Prop 8: Eliminates gay marriage in California. Do I want to lose the opportunity to marry a guy...assuming I ever date one again?

Answer and Vote: NO. Deal with it. If I ever fall in love with a guy, I don't want to spend the rest of my life introducing "my boyfriend", or worse, "my partner." Ugh.

Prop 9: Victim notification and input into the criminal justice process. Should victims' safety be considered when making parole or bail decisions?

Answer and Vote: YES.

Prop 10: Ten billion dollars for state-subsidized alternative fuel vehicles and renewable energy research. Again, do I want to pay for that BS?

Answer and Vote: NO. We've seen net global cooling for the past ten years.

Prop 11: Creating a redistricting commission. Do I want redistricting plans to be drawn up by a group of citizens selected through a labyrinthine process subject to partisan manipulation and by the state legislature OR JUST the state legislature?

Answer and Vote: NO. I'm not a fan of the redistricting done by citizens' commissions or legislatures, so I don't see much point in paying two different groups to do the same shitty work, especially when the dumbasses around here go on about how much legitimacy citizens' commissions have.

Prop 12: Authorization of almost two billion dollars for the Cal-Vet program, which purchases farms, homes, and mobile homes and then resells them to California veterans. Should we provide veterans with cheap home loans?

Answer and Vote: YES. The Cal-Vet program has been a staggering success, and, since its creation in 1921, been entirely paid off by the participating veterans. It is an actual, honest-to-God, successful government-run home loan program.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:41 PM

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