Monday, November 07, 2005

Why? Because I say so! Two.

Voter Information Guide has the text.

73 - no. see post below.

74 - This is Arnold's "Fuck you." to the teachers. It would extend the probation period for teachers from 2 to 5 years. Perhaps there should be school reform, including making it easier to fire teachers that are not competent. I certainly had many teachers that I thought were not competent, and I went to what was considered a good school. But, the incompetents were unanimously teachers who had been educators for decades. Serious school reform would comprehensively address many problems. This proposition alone would do little, if anything, to make schools better. A defeat on this proposition would send a message that 1. If Arnold really cares about education reform, he needs to negotiate with Democrats, and teachers. 2. Arnold cannot attack his political opponents through the referendum system. 3. Californians do not think teachers in their third year of teaching are the problem with out schools.

75 - This is Arnold's "Fuck you." to teachers, nurses, firefighters, and unions. It requires unions to get written permission to use union dues in polical activities each year. This proposition, like 74, is a thinly vieled attack on Arnold's political opposition. I might think this proposition was legitimate if it required unions to get permission to use dues for politics once, but this requires forms each year. The only purpose for the yearly requirement is to be a pain in the ass, not protect union members. Governator: the pro-red-tape politician.
Republicans like to call unions special interests, certainly more vilified than the corporations they sucle from. How about requiring every shareholder to a company to approve each year using that shareholders share of profits for political lobbying activity? That might be fair.

76 - This is Arnold's "Fuck you." to the schools, and to the legislature. Arnold barrowed money from the education budget during the economic recession. Now, instead of paying it back, he wants to break his campaign promise that he would not cut education funding. Instead he would rather keep his campaign promise not to increase taxes. Gullible Californians thought he could keep both. Or maybe they knew he would cut education, but just didn't want to have to admit it. This prop would reduce the amount of the budget required to be spent on education... forever.
This proposition is a fuck you to the legislature, because it would authorize the Govenor to make cuts in programs whenever there is a budget "crisis." The major problem with this is that it takes 2/3rds of the legistature to pass a budget. The legislature is made up of more than 1/3 Republicans. Thus, Republicans can simply refuse to make a budget deal, then... crisis. And who gets to decide then? A Republican. Compromise between the parties might be hard, but it must be done.

77 - No, but close. This is another big "Fuck you." to the legislature. The proposition would give a panel of retired Judges the power to draw district lines. In principal this is a good idea. Currently, a deal struck between Democrats and Republicans in the legislature has made most districts "safe" for Democrats or Republicans. Few districts have a truely competitive race between the parties. Redistricting reform advocates argue that reform will create more competitive districts, which in turn will create a more moderate legislature, which will be better able to compromise.

The problem with redistricting reform is that it might create a more fair system in California, but it will not have any effect in Texas of Pennsylvania. Each of those States recently instituted highly partisan redistricting efforts that have sent many more Republicans to the House of Representatives than should be expected given the percentage of votes that Republicans received in those States. Making California "fair" will not make the nation "fair." In fact, it will make the nation as a whole less fair.

A second issue one might consider about redistricting, is that the current set-up might have some downsides, but – in California at least – it is not necessarily unfair or undemocratic. California politicians set up the districts to benefit incumbents more than one party or the other. This means that Democrats are put in districts with Democrats and Republicans are put in districts with Republicans. In turn this means Democrats are more likely to be represented by a Democrat and vice versa. If people are better represented, isn't that the goal of democracy?

People seemed offended by the oddly shaped district, but I do not find odd shapes disturbing. As a low-land city dweller, I am much more like other low-land city dwellers than I am people who live in the hills, or people who live out in the suburbs, and no need to mention those who live out on the ranch. Shouldn't districts contain people with similar interests, rather than similar geographic coordinates? At a minimum, it is not an offensive idea.

See below (#4) for my reform.

A vote for 77 is a vote for Tom Delay, emmer effer. I would rather not give Arnold any victory. He has succeded by making himself appear succesful. Droping all four of his props will make him out to be the failure that he should be.

And get John McCain off my Television. He can go back to taking it from G.W.Bush in Washington.

Other arugmets from Kash, PGL.

78 – No. The drug company's version of a drug benefit. They can volunteer to participate. Need anything be said other than: PharMA's for it.

79 – Yes. A drug benefit for moderate and low income Californians. This does not mean the State will pay for prescription Drugs, just that California will use its large buying power to negotiate lower prices. Need anything be said other than: PharMA's against it.

80 – No. Although I don't like the current energy regulation, extremely complicated issues like this should not decided through a referendum because compromise is impossible, people have a hard time understanding the issues, and changing the law is extremely different.

*********All No, except 79, yes.

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