Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Can I proposition you?

In California, we have the wonderful privilege of being able to vote on proposed laws. I feel honored to do this but at the same time I scratch my head in bewilderment. After all, isn't that why we elect legislators? Trying to decipher the issues based on the political ads is nearly impossible. Both sides put together their smooth argument and run lists of organizations that support their decision, the teachers union, the police union, etc. etc. It becomes a challenge to digest the rhetoric on each side of an issue. I could wait until election day and read the snippet provided with each initiative. However, that isn't much help. These things are worded with more twists and turns than a West Virginia backwoods country road. You could vote yes on a proposition thinking you are voting the affirmative on an issue when in fact you are actually voting against the issue.

So, I turn to the California Voter's Guide. Since I waited until the last minute to change my address, I didn't receive one in the mail. But that's okay. Our Secretary of State is kind enough to post it and its supplemental guide online. The principal guide that lists all 15+ propositions is 168 pages long! The supplemental guide is 24 pages long! These guides give you the blip on the prosposition, the extended blip, and the actual wording of the law. It even provides the arguments for and against the proposition. Some of these laws have so much additional crap added to them that by the time you are done you don't know if you are voting for health care reform or a new state park. On top of that, some of the lines are marked out. I feel like I am reading a law student's rough draft thesis paper.

Some of these issues I'm not even fully informed about. I don't gamble and I really don't care if other people do. But, I've got to vote whether or not Indian gambling should be taxed differently than the current mandate. One side says that Indians are getting an unfair advantage, the other says that by voting in favor of the opposition it will put a gambling casino in my backyard. I'm not all that upset if an Indian has an unfair advantage. As a matter of fact, I think it's about time! A gambling casino in my backyard? I'd like them to find a square inch of space to fit it here. Space is so limited in the city and surrounding 'burbs that even my closest McDonalds doesn't have a drive-thru.

In spite of the head spin that I am experiencing in trying to make an informed decision, when all is said and done, the law could easily be overturned in court. But, I'll trudge through it all. Why? Because I can. 

19 comments:

sistercdr said...

Citizenship has its responsibilities, and I'm glad that there are people like you who take them seriously.

mlraminiak said...

Oregon also has the initiative system.  And  I HATE it.  Anyone with an axe to grind and enough time (or money) to collect the needed signatures can get a meaure put on the ballot.  Many of the laws that have passed through initiative--anti-gay legislation for example---have been struck down in court.  This time around, we get to vote on an anti-gay constitutional amendment---"Measure 36:  One Man, One Woman."  Makes me want to puke.  The unfortunate thing is, defeat of this thing is not guaranteed.  What is WRONG with people?  Lisa  :-]

babyshark28 said...

I just voted yesterday, I just need IRUN to sign witness that he saw me sign my envelope....that's right, found my purple envelope!
I didn't have a voters guide though when I was filling in the arrows.  :(  I read through them and did my best.  One of them was about scratch ticket laws, Indians, and how it could lower property taxes.  Was that the same law you were voting for?
Anyway...just wanted to say, I voted. :D

dymphna103 said...

I try to read up on everything before i decide.  I dont want to just cast a ballot....john

msyahtzee said...

Couldn't agree with you more on this.  I read and read trying to be informed and sometimes feel like I understand less once I have read more.  It exhausts me.
-Kari

st0rmwhispers said...

LOL...that legal stuff can be confusing...I know because I help write it.  Sure can't use my aol lingo there!

As far as the Indian casinos go....as a Native American, I wish they would go into a different venture rather than one that only encourages the unfair reputation that Indians are cheats, liars, and drunks.  Why couldn't they open a restaurant or maybe a mall?  Oh well.......... its all politics anyway.

redhdka said...

Ah decisions decisions.

redhdka said...

HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU LOOK BEAUTIFULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL WOW. GORGEOUS!!!!!!!! I JUST SAW THE PIC
YOU GO GIRL! VERY CLASSY

redhdka said...

HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU LOOK BEAUTIFULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL WOW. GORGEOUS!!!!!!!! I JUST SAW THE PIC
YOU GO GIRL! VERY CLASSY

magogos said...

Good posting. I needed to be reminded that we are blessed with the right to vote, despite the venom spewed out by both sides. Thank you for a bit of perspective in this pre-election madness. Blessings, Margo

hope5555 said...

One thing I miss about living in CA is voting on the propositions.  But you are right, that it certainly creates a LOT more homework for the voters in order to figure out what's what.  One thing, look at WHO wrote the pros and cons in the voter guide.  That will tell you a lot.

screaminremo303 said...

I think we need a proposition on how the propositions are written. You nailed it when you mentioned the weasel-language on how to vote. And I'm sick of the lawsuits trying to overturn the voters' decisions. Robbie for Senate!!

readmereadyou said...

It's wonderful to see a woman like yourself who realizes the importance of voting and what we women can accomplish with our votes.
Angela

deabvt said...

Robbie, that`s a wonderful Pic!!
V

deabvt said...

Amadeus is a great movie. Tom Hulce is fantastic as Mozart.
V

ksgal3133 said...

The whole thing can make your head spin at times but its good to be informed.
I had to change my AIM name from Ggal3133 to Ksgal3133 since I'm no longer on AOL. Maybe they should have let me vote on this? lol

Gretchen
http://livinginsavannah.blogspot.com/

jcgeorgiapeach said...

Yes, honey, we are truly blessed to be able to vote freely in this country.  After the elections, I have a post planned about why this election is so painful for me.  I'm glad you're able to exercise your privilege!  ~Peachy

lamove04 said...

Robbie: I have the 3-inch thick CA info booklets sitting right here.  Haven't cracked them open yet.  But I do know: I'm dead set against anything that supports and encourages gambling, I feel that it's a nasty addiction for too many people.  JMO.  Here in the Bay Area, there's the potential to open a casino in an Oakland neighborhood-- which would be a disaster.

I'm ashamed to admit that I just look at the suggestions of my Ultra-liberal/Progressive weekly and usually follow their suggestions.  Not always, sometimes they're really out there.

Great entry!  --Albert

slowmotionlife said...

"I'm not all that upset if an Indian has an unfair advantage. As a matter of fact, I think it's about time!"   A M E N ! ! !

Politicians make the issues more complicated and intimidating than they need to be.  They always have.  :(