Times marches on inexorably to November 2, Election Day in the state of California. If you live in California, I don’t need to tell you what a hot mess every ballot is. If you don’t live here, be grateful nobody will confront you with a three-page (legal size) ballot stuffed full of obscure political races and up to 24 ballot measures (give or take depending on your county). I’m taking a break from reading Ballotopedia to spout off about this for a minute.
The ballot initiative plagues California. Thanks to ballot initiatives it’s basically impossible to raise taxes in this state, get any money from big oil and gas companies that come here to drill and destroy the coastline, pass a budget or fund essential services. Why is California broke? Because the voters decided that it was more important for multi-millionaires and billionaires to not pay taxes on their estates than it was to adequately fund social services.
Now, for the idiots who start the whole hysterical screaming about how this country is so socialist we might as well be goose-stepping, I challenge you to actually look that term up to see what it really means. No, Shithead Beck, Dipshit Palin and every other rich fuck that has managed to brainwash you isn’t right. That’s okay; I don’t expect you to believe me. Just go ahead and look it up, I’ll wait.
Back so soon? Okay, I hope you read at least some of that. Bottom line: if you’ve ever driven down a public road, collected unemployment, went to a public hospital, used police or fire services, went to a public school, used the post office or used Medicare/Medical, you’re a damn, dirty socialist. That’s right, you, my friend, are a socialist. So, enough of that bullshit. Now stop your whining.
Back to the ballot measures. I’m not sure how the average human is supposed to cut through all the nonsense and make an intelligent decision. Ballot initiatives are mob rule, plain and simple. Mostly out of state organizations and individuals place some stupid-ass initiative on the ballot that will favor big business (Prop 24 2010), status quo (Prop 26 2010) or foster some type of religious bullshit discrimination (Prop Hate 2008). When will people wake up to this? It never ceases to amaze me how easily the American public is cowed into voting against its own self-interest.
Sometimes the measures make no sense whatsoever. Take this year’s Propositions 20 and 27. Here’s the wording for each from the actual California ballot:
Proposition 20: Redistricting of Congressional District. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. Removes elected representatives from process of establishing congressional districts and transfers that authority to recently-authorized 14-member redistricting commission comprised of Democrats, Republicans and representatives of neither party. Fiscal impact: No significant net change in state redistricting costs.
Proposition 27: Eliminates State Commission on Redistricting. Consolidates authority for redistricting with elected representatives. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute. Eliminates 14-member redistricting commission. Consolidates authority for establishing state Assembly, Senate, and Board of Equalization districts with elected representatives who draw congressional districts. Fiscal Impact: Possible reduction of state redistricting costs of around $1 million over the next year. Likely reduction of these costs of a few million dollars once every ten years beginning in 2020.
Did you catch that? Yeah, so did I. So…uh…what happens if both ballot measures pass? Do the 14-member commission and elected representatives do Rock, Paper, Scissors for the right to re-district? How about a good old fashioned tug ‘o war? Maybe they could arm wrestle. Who knows? I hope voters are smart enough to stop letting the professional politicians draw the districts, but since this is California, I doubt that will happen. I’m not endorsing either proposition, but I’m just throwing out the possibility that politicians might have to face layoffs and long-term unemployment for a change. After all, how many of us can just change the entire company or business around us so that it’s impossible to get fired? Right then.
Here’s another example of Californians’ right to shoot themselves in the foot:
Proposition 26: Requires that certain state and local fees be approved by two-thirds vote. Fees include those that address adverse impacts on society or the environment caused by the fee-payer’s business. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. Fiscal Impact: Depending on decisions by governing bodies and voters, decreased state and local government revenues and spending (up to billions of dollars annually). (Emphasis added by me.) Increased transportation spending and state General Fund costs ($1 billion annually).
Why is California broke? Why? Why, oh why, is California broke? I’d like to point out the deficit hawk Rethuglicans and big oil are responsible for that little debacle up there. Problem is, most Californians (Americans for that matter) are so damn averse to any sort of tax or funding that they will just see that and automatically vote for it without pondering the consequences.
Why didn’t they clean up the oil spill? Prop 26. Why can’t we fund job training? Prop 26. Why do these roads suck? Prop 26. Why did California’s budget increase billions of dollars? Prop 26. You can thank Chevron for this.
So cut spending. Right? It’s just that simple. Cut spending! You still want roads you can drive on and you want your kids leaving the California school system at least partially literate? (That’s a pipe dream). You may just think about pulling a dollar bill or two out your ass. You can’t get something for nothing, but here we go again, allowing big business to goad us into shooting ourselves. Nice. I want to be an oil executive when I grow up.
The California Constitution has been amended 540 times since 1879. Let me say that again so it sinks in. THE CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION HAS 540 AMENDMENTS. Is that not the sign that something is seriously fucked up here? Say you get a flat tire. You put a patch on it, hit the road, and travel on. Say the same tire goes flat again. You put a second patch on it, hit the road, and hope to get to a tire dealership. Now, picture that same damn tire getting busted up 540 times. Do you still try to put a patch on it and carry on? Change the fucking tire. Don’t add another amendment, change the fucking tire. Good luck fellow voters, choose wisely.