Saturday, May 1, 2010

quick review of California state propositions

This blog is mostly about bicycles, and I ride my bike to the polls in California several times per year, so anything having to do with elections also qualifies.... California's primary election is 8 June this year: less than 6 weeks away. A quick scan of statewide ballot measures:
  • Proposition 13: Definitely no. Property owners should pay a tax proportional to the value of the property. Seismic integrity is an important aspect of value. Additionally, putting loopholes in the tax code allows owners to classify upgrades as "seismic retrofitting" even if they contribute to other aspects of a building's value.
  • Proposition 14: Definitely yes. The present system of party-based primaries is polarizing and inertial. I think both parties benefit from a broader base of input. For example, fiscally conservative yet socially progressive voters can contribute to less dominance of the wacko fringe in the Republican party, while the Democratic candidates will be less smug in their support base.
  • Proposition 15: Based on who's supporting this one, I'm leaning positive. But public financing of elections is a complex matter. I'm not committing, but if I had to vote now, it would be yes.
  • Proposition 16: Absolutely no. Requiring 2/3 majority for anything short of constitutional ammendment is a farce. Give democracy a chance.
  • Proposition 17: No way: I couldn't possibly be more against this one. Don't punish those who go car-free and are therefore able to unplug from the insurance grid.

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