politics is to want something

fredag, november 04, 2005


Californians, well, some Californians, head to the ballot box on Tuesday to vote on eight highly contested propositions. The election is, by all accounts, a referendum on our ridiculous boy-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Appearing on the ballot are proposals that would require teens to notify their parents before terminating a pregnancy, limit campaign spending by labor unions, give unilateral budgetary power to the Governor and strip new teachers of work protections. It’s an unholy raft of regression up in here.

A massive, labor-led coalition has assembled to defeat the anti-union and budgetary initiatives, while pro-choice groups have forged a coalition to turn back the parental notification prop. Recent polls have the anti-union initiatives trailing significantly, but are mixed on the abortion measure. I’m scared about all of them.

This election is a good example of what is wrong with Californian democracy. Not only is this a special election, called by the Governor to ram through his agenda during what he hopes will be a low-turnout election cycle, but it reveals just how bankrupt governance-by-iniative really is.

In 2004, 990,000 voters left the box blank for proposition 72, which would have provided healthcare for millions of Californians. The proposition failed by 160,000 votes. It would be easy to blame voter apathy or ignorance. However, it is understandable that voters feel uneasy about casting a ballot on highly technical questions, especially when they are bombarded with 24-hour television commercials reducing these questions down to soundbites and theme music. In the absence of real campaign finance reform, real debate on our public airwaves, and effective voter education on issues, referenda are decided in much the same way as our candidate elections are: he who spends the most, wins.

It is possible to give substantive issues to the voters to make choices on. But when the Governor holds invitation-only “town hall” meetings made up of supporters in order to “disucuss” his proposals, we all lose.

So, I’ll be spending much of this weekend and Monday and Tuesday knocking on my neighbors’ doors and calling people on the phone in order to get as many of the Democrat-leaning Californian base to the polls on Election Day. There is a hell of a lot at stake. Proposition 73, the anti-choice measure, looks like it could pass. If so, the Constitution of the great State of California will contain a definition of abortion as the killing of “an unborn child, a child not yet born.” Combine that with an anti-choice U.S. Supreme Court, and you’ve got a recipe for sneak attacks on abortion rights in the heartland of blue state liberalism. They have taken the fight to our homes, people, and we must be willing to fight to defend our way of life.

No sleep till Tuesday.


Blogger rokkgod said...

I was surfing around and found another George Bush site.George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People This place has a ton of funny videos and mp3s.

mandag, november 07, 2005 3:18:00 a.m.

Blogger TheDevilIsInTheDetails said...

Another death info penalty Resource... LifeLaw.org . A discussion forum for all that deals with such hot-button issues as death info penalty .

mandag, november 07, 2005 5:15:00 a.m.

Blogger fredrik said...


Arnie was knocked out in the referendums if Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter are correct:


onsdag, november 09, 2005 6:47:00 a.m.

Blogger Gabe Kramer said...

Dear Daraka,

I learned to play rugby (badly, I'm afraid) in Tanzania and Kenya back during the years 1993-4. If you kept you hands on the ball despite the best tackling, rucking, and mauling efforts of the other side, the old rugger types might give you the compliment "well held".

Well held indeed! Well held to the American Federation of Teachers, the International Association of Fire Fighters, the California Nurses Association, the UAW, the SEIU, The AFL-CIO, and all the other trade union and allied organizations that defeated Schwarzenegger Republicanism last night.

Your victory was especially important to me because our local ballot initiative to hold hospitals accounable, which has absorbed almost all of my time for some weeks, went down to defeat.

Up the union. As the song says, it makes us strong.

- Gabe Kramer

onsdag, november 09, 2005 10:37:00 a.m.

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