Mad Scientess Jane Expat (nanila) wrote,
Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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I recently received my absentee ballot for the November 2005 California Special Statewide Election.

Oh boy is it special!

Proposition 73: This measure would impose a waiting period and require parental notification for termination of a minor's pregnancy.

I don't think I need much help deciding how I'm going to vote on this one. California law doesn't currently require notification or consent for a minor to obtain an abortion. During my last visit to the States in January, a guy in a Home Depot parking lot asked me to sign a form to put this proposition on the ballot. I handed him his pen and said, "No, I don't think so." My father was with me. He leaned toward the man conspiratorially and said, apologetically, "I think she's a feminist." Thanks, Dad!

I also really love that the Legislative Analyst's Office, the nonpartisan body that provides summaries for these propositions, says, "Some minors might also avoid pregnancy as a result of this measure, further reducing the number of abortions for this group." Right, because legislation is such a demonstrably effective contraceptive.

Proposition 74: This measure would increase the probationary period for permanent status from two years to five years for public school teachers. Somebody explain to me why the fuck this change is necessary, other than the fact that it would allow school districts to refuse to rehire teachers annually once they started to work their way up the pay scale. Someone also explain to me why the proponents of this measure found it necessary to spend eleven million ($11,000,000) on it.

Proposition 75: This measure would require public employees to provide written consent on a yearly basis for their dues to be used for political contributions by labor unions. Presently, nonmembers can opt to declare that their fees may not be used in this specific way, but union members can't.

The text of this measure is rather short. It provides for the protection of personal information (address, phone numbers) of members who choose to use their fees for political purposes, which is a factor that would have swayed me towards the nay were it not included. However, I really can't see the point of making this law. If union members want more control over the way the fees they pay to the union are used, why don't they take up that issue within the union? Why does this need to be state law?

Proposition 76: This measure is supposed to fix California's broken budget by putting limits on state spending and school funding. Hang on, I seem to remember a proposition that was passed LAST YEAR that was supposed to do this. You mean you assholes still haven't fixed it?

Proposition 77: Redistricting. This is probably one of the most important propositions on them ballot, and I don't understand it, like, at all. What's wrong with the current re-districting system? Why do we need to do it before the next scheduled re-districting plan is due in 2010? If it's so goddamned important, why do we need to put a spending cap on it? If this measure is supposed to be so very beneficial to us wee voters and not to the politicians, why did politicians - including my favorite, our Governator - spend two point five million ($2,500,000) on it?

I don't even have the strength to go on right now. There are three more measures on the ballot for me to get steamed up about and I don't have the energy left. I hate this whole stupid proposition system. Most private citizens don't have the time, energy or necessary education to wade through hundreds of pages of legalese to try to determine whether or not the text of a proposition adequately represents their views, to find out whether there's some other hidden measure being included in the text that's not being widely discussed (read: Prop 76) or even to discern what the impact will be on him/herself or on the state. And if private citizens do have the resources to make informed choices, then why the hell are they paying legislators if those legislators are going to hand the responsibility for passing legislation back to them?

This crap is enough to turn a girl into a raging libertarian.
Tags: politics, rage
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