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How You Should Vote*

If you live in California like I do, you know that we have an outstanding number of things to vote on this year. (If you don’t, you’re probably enjoying reading this while watching frost form or a nor’easter whip through your neighborhood. On the positive side, at least the value of your home is likely only 10% or 20% less than the amount you owe on your mortgage.) And by outstanding I mean that there is an almost unreasonable number of spending plans, projects, city council candidates, transit district board members, legal (and ostensibly moral) issues, and, of course, presidential candidates on the ballot. Since the last one doesn’t actually have an overwhelming number of viable candidates (really only one, if viable = has the potential to succeed), I won’t tell you who to vote for on that one. And anyway, unless you live in a swing state, your vote is unlikely to affect the outcome. For everything else, here’s the rundown:

Prop 1A (High Speed Rail): YES
Yes voters are intelligent, informed citizens who know that the availability of convenient, comfortable and fast trains is practically a constitutional right.
No voters (especially those gubernatorial types that prefer to make the journey by plane almost daily, leaving a larger carbon footprint than most mid-sized cities) should be forced to drive the 380+ miles of I-5 from Sacramento to LA in one sitting.

Prop 2 (Protect the Chickens, Pigs, and Cows): YES
Yes voters would like to mandate that chickens, pigs, and cows be given enough space to ‘fully extend their limbs’. Seriously, are there places where animals are too tightly confined to move? Such places should not be allowed to exist. Anywhere.
No voters: see above.

Prop 3 ($$$ for Children’s Hospitals): YES
Yes voters did the math and can tell you that at approximately $2 per state resident per year, this is not a crippling debt burden.
No voters hate children.

Prop 4 (Parental Notification Prior to a Minor’s Abortion): NO
Can’t joke about this one. Yes voters likely have their hearts in the right place, but to me the consequences of required notification in the cases where the minor will be further victimized by whomever is notified are a far greater evil than the consequences of a lack of notification in the cases where the minor succeeds in keeping it a secret from their family.

Prop 5 (Drug Rehab, Parole Shortening, and Pot ‘Tickets’): YES
Yes voters just want everyone to chill, man. They’re happy to say that they’ve been clean for 103 days and counting thanks to the state-funded rehab they got instead of just sitting in the slammer for another 6 months.
No voters have either never taken drugs or never been to prison, which calls into question the validity of their California residency claim.

Prop 6 ($$$ for Police, Community Programs): NO
Yes voters have buyer’s remorse for authorizing so much spending on the previous propositions; they just can’t stomach another $1B, especially with vague spending accountability on “certain new and existing criminal justice programs.”
No voters don’t have any family or friends who are police officers or are studying ‘criminal justice’ at community college, otherwise they would vote Yes.

Prop 7 (Green Energy Requirements): YES
Yes voters notice that both the California Democratic Party and Republican Party oppose this measure. Enough said.
No voters loved to quote the radio ad about how electricity costs will skyrocket if the measure passes, but forgot to listen to the full disclosure at the end that Big Electricity was the main sponsor of the ad. If rates go up, that means more revenue for Big E. So why would Big E oppose the measure?

Prop 8 (The Gay Marriage Ban): NO
Yes voters likely fail to realize that the same State that is allowed to discriminate against one group can extend that discrimination to groups that include them. Who will protect them and theirs at that time? And why do they want to ban same-sex marriage anyway? If it’s any sort of religious reason, it has no place in State law.
No voters believe the purpose of the State is the protection of rights such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Prop 9 (Criminal Justice Stuff Again): YES
Yes voters are too tired to read past the ‘argument in favor’, and since it comes first in the pamphlet, they vote Yes.
No voters are criminals.

Prop 10 (Alternative Fuels): NO
Yes voters talk green, but they wouldn’t touch a natural gas or hydrogen vehicle with a ten-foot pole, let alone trade their Escalade in for one. Besides, the price of gas is falling faster than a barrel of oil over Niagara Falls, so what’s the big deal?
No voters know we don’t need better fuels and new cars as much as we need to walk more, bike more, and build better transit (see Prop 1A).

Prop 11 (Redistricting Reform): YES
Yes voters see the obvious conflict of interest when elected politicians get to redraw voting districts to favor their reelection.
No voters have shady backroom deals with Sacramento politicians, which likely include ‘redistribution’ of your wealth to homeless cats and dogs in Lithuania.

Prop 12 (Veterans’ Bonds): YES
Yes voters are nice people.
No voters are jerks.

*If you don’t have time to read the entire voter’s pamphlet, that is. If that’s the case, stay tuned for my next post: “Where You Should Invest Your Money: Financial Stocks, Under Your Mattress, or My Internet Startup?”

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