California might not be a swing state, but there are some pretty significant measures on the ballot this year, and not just Prop 8. I just finished reading about the 12 propositions that will be on the ballot and deciding how I'll vote on all of them. Here's what I'm planning on doing, you can tell me if you think I'm wrong on any of these:So, is he wrong about any of this?
Prop 1A: Would build high speed rail systems across California. It would all be city-to-city trains and wouldn't improve public transportation within any given city. It sounds appealing but it's very expensive and misguided, since the dependence on cars is based on insufficient public transportation within certain cities, not so much city-to-city. I'm voting no.
Prop 2: Would require that "certain farm animals" (chickens) be given enough cage space so they can move their wings and turn around. I'm voting yes.
Prop 3: Would spend more money on children's hospitals. The argument against is that it spends money, the argument for is that it spends it on children's hospitals. I'm voting yes.
Prop 4: A constitutional amendment requiring that an underage girl can't get an abortion until 48 hours after her parents have been notified of her intent to get an abortion. There's an exception for "medical emergency" or "parental waiver" but not for child abuse or rape. I'm voting no.
Prop 5: Would expand spending on drug treatment programs and reduce punishment for those crimes deemed drug-related. Opponents say that a "loophole allows defendants accused of child abuse, domestic violence, vehicular manslaughter, and other crimes to effectively escape prosecution" by claiming that drugs caused them to commit these crimes. Whether that's true or not, its proponents' central argument is that the solution to prison overcrowding is to basically go soft on crime, release drug dealers early, and give more criminals the option of rehab instead of prison. I think the solution is to prison overcrowding is to build more prisons and deport all the illegal immigrants who are in those prisons. I'm voting no.
Prop 6: Would increase spending on law enforcement and prisons, and also significantly increase penalties for gang-related crimes. Opponents don't like that it, among other things, eliminates the option of bail for those who are arrested for gang violence and turn out to be illegal immigrants. I think we should be a lot harsher than just denying bail to those people, but maybe this is all you can get passed in California now. It's a complicated proposition with lots of components, most of which involve increased sentences for gang-related crimes. I'm voting yes.
Prop 7: Would try to shift us towards renewable energy by requiring that 20% of government-owned utilities are from renewable sources by 2010, 40% by 2020, and 50% by 2025. Seems very unrealistic to me. I'm voting no.
Prop 8: Constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman. I'm voting hell no.
Prop 9: Constitutional amendment that is written as a victims rights act but is actually geared towards building more prisons. The victims rights measures are apparently duplicates of existing state law. I don't like that it seems to be presented in a dishonest way, but I support building more prisons. I'm voting yes.
Prop 10: Would try to improve energy efficiency largely by giving people financial incentives to buy hybrids. I think people already have enough incentive to buy hybrids. Some money would also go to university research on alternative energy. I'm voting no.
Prop 11: Constitutional amendment to create a commission that would include both parties and some independents to be in charge of drawing the voting district lines for State Senate rather than let them be drawn by Legislature. It's an effort to keep politicians from redrawing the map in a way that helps them. I'm voting yes.
Prop 12: Would send a lot of money to "provide farm and home aid for California veterans." You have to be wary of voting yes on most of these propositions, because we're in a financial crisis and nearly all of them involve spending a lot of money. If I'm only going to vote yes on the ones I consider the most important, then giving money to all the veterans, including those who are doing well, isn't at the top of the list for me. I'm voting no.
ADDED: Armed Liberal says "no" on 10 and 7, "yes" on 11 and "no" on 8 -- agreeing with Chris -- and "yes" on 12 and "no" on 9 -- disagreeing with Chris. By the way, my view, expressed in the comments is:
I think the proposition approach to lawmaking is terrible, so if I were in California, I'd have a strong presumption of "no" for everything. Only when I felt very sure of the answer would I vote yes. I kind of like the "yes" on 11.Has it really been shown that Prop 2 is the worth doing? You want to serve the chicken community... at whose expense?