We had thirteen brave attendees. I say brave because ballot propositions can be mind-numbingly technical and misleading, often by design. That the public has to make these kind o decisions is just crazy. Aside from the complexity and deceptive millions in advertizing, to me the big problem with government-by-initiative is that the public only has two choices: Yes, and No. Voters cannot weigh priorities or negotiate differences among themselves — That’s supposed to be the legislators’ jobs.
Anyway, we made it our job for 2 hours. Thanks to all who came (inc. Danielle, Adam, and Carol) and who did a little research beforehand, too. I learned a lot, especially about marijuana (that came out wrong), For follow-up, first, here’s a pretty good description, from Salon.com, of why CA is so screwed by a right-wing GOP, the crazy rules (e.g., supermajority requirements), and the voters themselves.
Second, in a few minutes I’ll update my earlier posts on prop. 23 and 20/27 to reflect stuff I learned from Chris and the rest of you last night (i.e., 23 won’t repeal all of AB-32’s energy efficiency standards, and the process for a citizen to qualify for the redistricting commission sounds pretty rigorous).
Finally, later today I’ll do a separate post on old topic updates that will cover privacy, immigration reform, and government spending, the future of conservatism, and other topics. I only save really good articles for these updates, so give some of the links a try! The spending-related link will be pretty cool. It’s a website with a calculator that will tell you what your personal taxes (the amount you paid) actually got used for. It basically is equivalent to a receipt for what you purchase with your taxes. The state of CA might have one, too, and I’ll try to find it.