Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Post-Election Day

smartvoterWell, The People have spoken. Smart Voter has some really nice results listings. A few comments on proposition results:
  1. 13 passed. I suspect a lot of remods are now going to be classified as "earthquake safety upgrades". Seems like an accounting nightmare. Oh, well.
  2. 14 passed. There is hope for the Republican Party! This may be the end of the socially radical wing of the "conservatives" (cough!). Katherine Roberts has pointed out there's nothing conservative about the right-wing. Moderate Republicans, like Tom Campbell (who polled ahead of Carly Fiorina only among "liberal" Republicans in California, but would have gotten my vote as a Democrat) will have a chance. And fiscally irresponsible Democrats like Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi will face more competition. All good.

    But that in the primary that each voter gets only one vote brings up some interesting game theory questions. For example, consider the Senate race. Suppose I supported Boxer, which I did not. So I perceive Boxer, the incumbent, is a wasted vote, since she's a lock. Do I then vote for Campbell, because he might have been my second choice (instead of my first, which he was)? Or do I try to encourage support for Carly, because I know Boxer polls well against her, so Carly making it into the general gives Boxer the lock on the final result? In the end, I generally echew trying to game the system, and vote for the competitive candidate I most like. But a ranked voting scheme would have been superior to one person one vote.

    Another issue with 14 is it will make it much harder for secondary parties like the Greens or Peace and Freedom to get candidates onto the general ballot. These candidates would need to finish top-2 in the primary. You might argue this reduces the problem of vote-splitting in the general, but I suspect it simply shifts the vote-splitting problem to the primary instead.

    A nice article on Newsweek points out the splitting problem in primaries may lead to more "backroom bartering" to limit the intraparty competition on the primary ballot.
  3. 15 failed. I liked 15. But The People don't like public election financing.
  4. 16 failed! This had been ahead when I'd checked SmartVoter. What a relief. 16 was an attempt to stifle competition and sustain a monopoly, which reduces efficiency and inhibits innovation.
  5. 17 failed!. I am very pleased voters saw past the misrepresentation on what was a fine on those who choose to temporarily go carless.

Overall, a good day. I'm glad to see PG&E wasn't able to buy 16. And even more important, the insurance companies weren't able to buy 17. And 14 passed. Some days I'm less of a pessimist.

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