vote

A few thoughts on tomorrow's election.

Federal

Both Romney and Obama are smart people. Both are fully capable of running the country. What direction they run it in is debatable, and that is what voting is for.

I'm glad that Romney's religion was not a significant political target in the election. Because it's a real shame when a person's personal life becomes a political target (cough).

The presidential campaigns have spent somewhere around $1.5B to $2B this cycle to try to sway the vote of around 5% of the voting population who are "undecided." That is ridiculous. 5% of the population needs to get out of WalMart and educate themselves about the differences between the political parties.

I remain convinced that "polls" are something media organizations run and manipulate for ratings.

I voted for Obama. My vote doesn't really matter much, since under our electoral system, it was a foregone conclusion that California's delegates would vote for Obama.

Speaking of which, the fact that Ohio and Florida determine the outcome of the presidential election yet again is an indication to me that we might want to have a discussion about whether our election system is still working as intended.

State - California

In California, any idiot can qualify anything for a statewide referendum (the main hurdle is obtaining approx. 500k - 800k signatures, which is not hard to do with professional petitioners). And if that proposition gets enough votes, it becomes law. We've seen some incredibly stupid propositions make their way to the ballot. This year, for example, voters are asked to decide between two competing tax measures designed to save the state's economy, neither of which will likely do that. Both could pass, both could fail, or one could pass - it's a crap shoot.

In most cases, the referendums are an abdication of the legislature's responsibility (i.e., budgeting, lawmaking) to the people, so that the elected politicians can escape the consequences of bad fiscal planning. Therefore, I almost always vote "no" on every proposition to raise taxes. Sorry, but it isn't my job to impose taxes on the citizenry.

This year, we are asked to vote to abolish the death penalty in California, and I'm quite happy to vote to do just that. Most of the other propositions are half-baked.

City Measures

Most cities in California place local measures on the ballot. Where I live in San Jose, we are asked to expand gambling, because the casinos (there are presently 2) generate taxes for the city, but also attract crime. Since I don't understand why gambling is regulated in the first place, I'm happy to vote for more of it.

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