November 7, 2005

2005 Election Endorsements

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at November 7, 2005 2:43 PM

We have an election tomorrow in California, with eight ballot initiatives. Needless to say, I am doing appropriate research beforehand:

This blog endorses a "no" vote on propositions 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, and 78. I'm also leaning towards "no" on the remaining two, 79 and 80, although they seem like good ideas in principle: I'm skeptical of deciding complex policy by ballot initiative.

Mark Kleiman has a good summary of the ballot at his blog. As he points out (in the "details here" link), Proposition 77 leads to urban voters being underrepresented; this should be seen as part of the GOP's nationwide program to redistrict states in their favor (as in Texas and Colorado) rather than as some sort of attempt at fairness and anti-gerrymandering.

Here's Brad DeLong's take along with excerpts from other commenters. And here's Kevin Drum's explanation of why he always votes "no", a stance that becomes more and more appealing to me every year.

As usual, attempts to change my mind are welcome. Those of you not in California may be content to point and laugh at our ridiculous governor instead.

Tags: California, Election 2005, Politics
Comments

We're having an election here in Texas too. Apparently one of the pressing issues we are voting on is whether to amend the Texas Constitution to outlaw gay marriages. This seems the very stuff of constitutional law, particularly the Texas Constitution.

Section 21 of the Texas Bill of Rights is a good example of the relevance to all Texans today of the Texas Constitution, and I quote:

"No conviction shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture of estate, and the estates of those who destroy their own lives shall descend or vest as in case of natural death."

How 'bout that for some good liberal leanin' nineteenth century shit? We can't be havin' none of that corruption of blood in THIS state.

In 1974 there was a convention called to overhaul the whole thing- I worked that convention as an aide to a state representative. We passed a pretty good- that is to say, early to mid-20th century style constitution- and the voters REJECTED IT.

Posted by: JSpur | November 7, 2005 3:23 PM

When it comes to California ballot initiatives, no is a pretty good default position.

Posted by: Jenny | November 7, 2005 4:06 PM

Nice picture. I approve!

I think there was some confusion with my ballot this year because I never got my absentee ballot (and I wonder if it got sent to my apartment in Atlanta?).

I need to figure out if my registration situation got messed up (this has happened before). If I am registered, I will still be registered via my parents' home in Beverly Hills, so it looks like I'm going to have to trek down there to vote. I will likely end up choosing apathy.

Last week, I saw the press release about Caltech's 7 steps to make sure you don't get disenfranchised, which is when I realized I hadn't gotten my absentee ballot form. (With all the prevalent advertisements, I should have realized this earlier, but this sometimes happens to me when academic deadlines put me into a bubble of even smaller radius than usual.) Actually, this came after the change-of-address deadline, but the advertisements certainly came early enough.

I just noticed online that absentee fax ballots were accepted last year. Does anybody know if this is acceptable this year? That's pretty much my only chance because at this point I don't see myself going to Beverly Hills tomorrow.

Posted by: Mason | November 7, 2005 4:51 PM

Mason - if I understand elections law correctly (big if) you should be able to vote by provisional ballot at whatever precinct you should be in here in Pasadena. Granted, provisional ballots may or may not be counted, but it beats apathy or a trip to Beverly Hills. I have no clue about absentee fax ballots, good luck figuring that out!

Posted by: Justin | November 7, 2005 5:10 PM

"No" is my default position on California ballot initiatives; they are either already bad law, or will get out of date and become bad law in almost all cases.

Posted by: Jonathan | November 7, 2005 5:16 PM

Not that my opinion really means a damn thing these days, but I don't buy the "No on 77" arguments. For one thing, stopping gerrymandering has to start somewhere. 77 is nothing like the DeLay orchestrated fiasco in Texas, where the state was re-gerrymandered into GOP. See, what I think is that it is more important to stop the politicians from choosing the voters than any temporary political advantage. California tends to set the trends, and stopping gerrymandering would be awesome.

Not that the Republicans could gerrymander ANYTHING to take California.

Posted by: Chris LS | November 7, 2005 7:48 PM

California does tend to set the trends, but I don't see that happening in this case where every state with a Republican-controlled legislature is taking full advantage of gerrymandering. I can't imagine that Texas or Florida would suddenly see the light on this issue if 77 passes. For Democrats to vote for 77 would be unilateral disarmament. (Many of the commenters here aren't Democrats, so this argument won't necessarily apply. But for me the "temporary political advantage" really does matter. Gerrymandering is bad, but not so bad that I'm willing to accept a greater Republican majority in Congress, given that I vastly prefer Democratic policies to Republican ones on most issues.)

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | November 7, 2005 8:41 PM

The subject of your picture is a regular in my restaurant. FYI.

I have nothing political to say! Irresponsibilitarianism!

Posted by: Josh | November 7, 2005 10:33 PM

I did my civic duty and voted but here in CT is a all local elections for which i a barely informed

Posted by: shellock | November 8, 2005 8:03 AM

Chris:

Prop 77 is a mild GOP gerrymander, so therefore there is no sane reason to vote for it. I do agree with the principle behind it, and therefore I support the Ohio counterpart to 77 (not that my personal opinion has any weight in Ohio, of course). However, as I understand it, part of the language of 77 requires the new districts to be compact and to split cities and counties into as few districts as possible. Those criteria are explicitly pro-Republican and unacceptable. Take away the compactness, not-splitting-cities bit and I'd consider voting yes on this type of thing.

For clarity, when I say GOP gerrymander, I mean simply a net gain of seats, not that they'd somehow gain a majority. That, thankfully, does appear to be impossible. :-)

Posted by: Justin | November 8, 2005 1:37 PM
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