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California Über Alles

[I thought I'd post this here since it pertains to California politics and might be of interest to Catherine's Bay Area readers. I live in Orange County, CA.]

Mrs. Prop and I voted this morning as soon as the polls opened. We were out within ten minutes and off to work. I voted "No" on every single ballot measure except for Prop 79 and Prop 80 just to protest Governor Schwarzenegger and his corporate-backed plans for my fair state.

There was nothing special about this "special election". We are supposedly in a fiscal crisis. The governor chose to solve this fiscal crisis by forcing the state to spend $80 million for an odd-year unscheduled election. Opposing interest groups have raised over $262 million.

In his pseudo-populist rhetoric, the governor opines about "rebeelding Cahleefohnia", which really means crushing unions, teachers, nurses and firefighters and giving big corporations more influence in Sacramento. The "liberal" Los Angeles Times actually endorsed most of the governor's ballot measures. Go figure.

This letter to the editor sums up the mood:

My biggest problem with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has nothing to do with his political beliefs but rather his affection for unscheduled elections. Costly special elections such as today's are absurd. Amazingly, Schwarzenegger portrays himself as some sort of progressive fighter for the little man, revolutionary even. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our state is now on its third phony election, counting the recall. Let's give these additional elections a rest, Governor. Don't you get sick of all these commercials like the rest of us?
Huntington Beach

This whole special election has shaken my faith in democracy. I happen to share the views of the following columnist. I'd like to lead an effort for a new initiative next year--one that would repeal the California Initiative process:

The initiative remains popular among all segments of the California electorate. Liberals are still wedded to the dream of popular sovereignty, and once-skeptical conservatives embrace it as a way to remove many issues from the jurisdiction of elected officials.In truth, the initiative has, in effect, strangled the republic and made California less governable. The Nov. 8 special election will, by definition, exacerbate, not cure, what ails California. If we want to reclaim the republican model established by our founding fathers, we must have one final ballot measure: one that terminates the initiative. That would truly be a special election.

Too much democracy can be dangerous. I think James Madison said it best:

[D]emocracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.

Nuff said.


Posted by on November 8, 2005
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While commenting over at the Pepper, Mateo made a good point: "we hire politicians to do this complicated legislative process for us! it really pisses me off that I have to learn the ins and outs of the issues (and when I still can't figure it out, I just vote no)." I mean, if I don't want a path out of Golden Gate Park, then don't I write my supervisor?

Soon, we'll be voting on where to put our stop signs.

Posted by: Pepper | Nov 8, 2005 9:50:59 PM

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