Raw Thought

by Aaron Swartz

Election Slate: February 2008

Being a newly-minted California voter, I’ve been looking forward to my opportunity to exercise a little direct democracy tomorrow. (I’m not taking a position on whether direct democracy is a good idea, but surely if it’s there one might as well take advantage of it.) I encourage you to vote as well; indeed, I encourage you to vote the same way I do:

Presidential Candidate for the Democratic Party: Barack Obama. Between Mike Gravel’s inability to get more attention than a passing mention from Wikipedia and everybody else dropping out, the choice is apparently down to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Hillary is the kind of sellout DLC centrist who cozies up to Rupert Murdoch; Barack Obama can hardly be worse. Still, he’s sold out too and I vote for him under the illusion that he’ll somehow revert to his community organizing, Iraq War-opposing, progressive old pre-sellout self sometime before becoming President. False hope springs eternal.

Proposition 91: No. So bad, even its supporters are asking you to vote against it.

Proposition 92: Yes. Community college is important and previous propositions have been screwing it over for years.

Proposition 93: Yes. Progressives seem to oppose term limits, on the grounds that they “shift[] more power to the governor and ensur[e] that the State Assembly and the State Senate will be filled with people who lack the experience and institutional history to fight the Sacramento lobbyists (who, of course, have no term limits)” (SFBG). I’m not so sure, but this seems like a fairly modest proposal which seems to strike a reasonable balance.

Propositions 94-97: No. The only people in favor of expanding the casinos while reducing their oversight seem to be their lobbyists.

Proposition A: Yes. Parks are nice.

Proposition B: Yes. Everyone seems to support this and if police officers want to work three more years, who am I to say no?

Proposition C: Yes. I know rationally this is an absurd proposal, but when you’re there, in the privacy of the voting booth, looking at whether a geodesic dome should be built on Alcatraz Island, who’s going to stop you from voting yes?

You should follow me on twitter here.

February 4, 2008


Dem. Pres.: Obama. I sure hope he makes it.

92: No. Community colleges are awesome, and need funding, but the way to do this is not by initiative. All the stupid initiative funding mandates tie the hands of the legislature, and make CA’s budget an insolvent inflexible mess. (I’d make a longer argument about this, but it would take a few pages)

93: Yes. Good god, the current term limits are stupid. Too bad that abolishing them altogether wouldn’t get the votes.

The rest: No. They’re all terrible.

ABC: I’m not from SF, so no comment.

posted by Jacob Rus on February 4, 2008 #

First off, proposition 91 isn’t bad. It’s just been passed already in 2006. Saying it’s “so bad, even its supporters are asking you to vote against it” is a complete mischaracterization. There’s just no point in voting for prop 91 anymore.

Regarding Proposition 93, I’m not so sure that it’s is good. First off, it grants significant extensions to currently serving members of the state assembly and senate. Second of all, we already have a way of kicking out representatives: it’s called voting them out. Why should we punish good legislators by forcing them to leave their jobs for someone who’ll be worse? If we want certain representatives out, vote them out! It’s as simple as that.

As for the Obama suggestion, wow do your opinions of him completely mirror mine. I am also considering reluctantly voting for him.

posted by Simone Manganelli on February 4, 2008 #

Elections are an oligarchic scam.

posted by Sortition on February 5, 2008 #

Simone: re: 93. We shouldn’t force legislators out without a vote. That’s why we should lengthen term limits, even if we can’t abolish them altogether (they were established by another proposition a few years ago).

posted by Jacob Rus on February 6, 2008 #

You can also send comments by email.

Email (only used for direct replies)
Comments may be edited for length and content.

Powered by theinfo.org.