Last night a few of us met to go through the propositions that are on the ballot, and had a lively discussion. I even changed my vote on a few items. For example I have decided to vote FOR the mail-in only ballots (a minimum number of polling places to be kept open). [YES ON 205] A similar program has increased votership in Oregon, and they have had no security or fraud issues yet. And when I send a self-addressed stamped envelope to my grandmother, she writes me back. She would vote if that's how it worked. We simply must keep a hawkeye on the process so that it is honest. It is easier to keep track of paper ballots than zeroes and ones in a computer.
I have been convinced to vote for FOR the LOTTERY for primary voters. [YES ON 200] If this proposition passes, some people will vote just because they could win a million bucks, and not because they have any knowledge or opinion whatsoever about the candidates or issues. So this is simply another device to get more people involved in the process of democracy. We know that in this country hardly anybody votes. Lots of people aren't paying attention. They're comfortable. If we can get one beer drinking bozo to play lotto at the primary, he just might accidentally vote in some other election, because he knows where his polling place is, and because it's an adventure. And he might actually hear something about a candidate before that next election, and have a clue. He might become a citizen.
I've been randomly asking people if they are registered to vote. I have discovered that several of my neighbors and one of my friends do not vote, in general! My friend voted for the first time in the last presidential election because she was inspired about Kerry. I think her inspiration stemmed from the fact that he stopped and spoke here in Flagstaff. But she is not inspired by this election, because she has no idea what it is about. And she doesn't use the web.
101 NO -- xenophobia
101 YES -- protect homeowners from govt tax
102 NO -- xenophobia
103 NO -- xenophobia
104 NO? -- My initial choice was NO and I will look further into this question. My friends all chose YES. My choice is no because I am against debt and also against roads. My reasons are simple and principled and decidedly unpopular. I would like to see us stop putting so much money into automotive infrastructure and put it instead into public transportation, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, healthcare and education. Cars are short for this world. And I do not want to put more money into building fancy new police buildings and fire stations. I do not want to encourage development at any level. Let all those new suburbs fend for themselves. Stop building them. There will be radical changes sooner or later. If any particular city or town starts getting real about the future now it will be less harsh later.
105 NO -- bogus environmentalism, a trick
106 YES -- for preservation
107 NO -- xenophobia
200 YES -- on the lottery
201 YES -- no smoking
202 YES -- increase minimum wage
203 NO? -- Here's another one that I'm reconsidering. This is the prop that taxes cigarette smokers (increase in tax per pack would be from $1.18 to $1.98--and that's just the TAX) to pay for early childhood healthcare and education. It's not fair, that's why I started at NO. But there is a great need for healthcare and education. And smokers do cost us all in medical bills, the numbers are out there. The picture of the little girl on the promotional mailing is trying to be too cute to vote no to. But I'm not one of those suckers for an adorable face. That doesn't convince me. No, I still think I'm a no, because of the mailing. I seem to be against everybody who has money enough to send me stuff in the mail. They're spending money to make money, not out of the goodness of their hearts. I also don't like offering a healthcare program just for people 5 years and under. What about me? We need something broader. I am not convinced that this bill would be effective at it's objective . It looks like it would create another bureacracy that would just piss people off, feed money into another greedy "health" sector without really getting much done. Convince me different. I will read on it.
204 YES -- This bill is hogwash in its finest sense. Hogs need mud baths, room to wiggle and play, and sunshine. All living creatures deserve respect, and those that we eat merit special gratitude. There is a huge campaign out to defeat this proposition, in spite of the fact that it is the right thing to do. The farmers want us to believe that this prop is meddling from "out of state special interest groups". But I know some of the local folks who collected signatures for it. The farmers are bodaciously insulted that anyone could dare to suggest that they are not loving and kind to their animals. They cry out that they love their critters. All thousands of them. They don't want regulation in any farm. I say: hamper the factory farms by forcing them to treat their animals better. That's a definite YES on 204. Good meat is not grown in a box. Happy meat tastes better and is more nutritious. Bring back the small farm. Tax the corporations and provide incentives to small organic startups.
205 YES -- Vote by mail, discussed above.
206 NO -- This is the bill that would require us to plaster the world with "no smoking" signs to defend ourselves.
207 NO -- This is the sneaky one that sounds good on the ballot. It about eminent domain and the ballot makes it sound like it's protecting the common man from getting his house taken away, but nothing could be further from the truth. ALERT! Please EDUCATE PEOPLE about this prop in particular because the ballot language is so misleading. I would vote FOR IT if all I knew was what what it says on the ballot. And I would be voting against my own values.
300 NO -- xenophobia
301 NO -- no probation is a money maker, and that doesn't make it right. Besides, why just meth offenders? Who next?
302 YES -- I was considering a NO but am now firmly in the yes camp because with more pay perhaps we could get state legislators who were in it for the right reasons...I'm not sure that the people who are in now need more pay, and it is only a half-the-year-"job", and I'm positive that they have budgets for offices and travel that come from the public pocket.... but if we pay more maybe we can get someone else. One person working for good would be worth far more than $36,000/year, that's for sure.