Sunday, October 19, 2008

California Voting Guide

I have just filled out and sealed my mail-in ballot. I thought I would share my choices and at least some of my reasons.

People
  • President -- none of the above. I knew from early on that nothing could make me vote for McCain and while I played with the idea of voting from Obama, in the end, he just has so many bad positions that I could not stomach it. For a more intellectual defense of abstention, see Craig Biddle's "McBama vs. America" in the fall 2008 issue of The Objective Standard.
  • Congressional Representative -- none of the above. After John Campbell voted for the bailout twice, I vowed not to support him. But Steve Young is unfortunately too unreasonable a Democrat to support.
  • Various other local judges, representatives, commissioners, etc -- none of the above. Part of the problem here is that I simply know nothing about these people. But I would also argue that I don't quite understand why all these people have to be elected rather than appointed.
Propositions
  1. "High-speed rail bonds", later apparently changed to 1A "Safe, Reliable, High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act" (I'm not kidding!). No. In principle I'm opposed to all bond measures -- the last thing the state needs is to borrow more money. And the last thing that needs to be funded by the government are trains. The state government needs to remove the numerous restrictions in the path of rail, not borrow money and give it to undeserving private interests.
  2. "Standards for confining farm animals" No. It is none of the government's business how farmers treat their farm animals.
  3. "Children's Hospital bond act. Grant Program". No. See 1. And in addition I don't believe that government has any role to play in health care or the funding of hospitals.
  4. "Waiting period and parental notification before termination of minor's pregnancy." No. Though I have to admit I had to think about that one a little bit and my wife finally convinced me that it was too dangerous to a young girl's life to let this pass. See also Adam Reed's recent excellent opinion piece in the Orange County Register.
  5. "Nonviolent drug offense. Sentencing, parole and rehabilitation." No. Though if it wasn't for the rehabilitation bit I might have supported it since it reduces penalties on drug offenders. However, it intends to spend more money on drug rehabilitation programs and I just don't think I should have to spend any of my money on that kind of scum.
  6. "Police and law enforcement funding. Criminal Penalties and laws". Yes. This law increases funding for police at the expense of schools and health care, among other things (so its opponents claim) -- that's a selling point for me. Also, it increases penalties for gang-related crimes and Southern California has been struggling with those quite a bit lately.
  7. "Renewable Energy Generation" No. I want utilities privatized and any regulations against them removed, not new ones added.
  8. "Eliminates right of same-sex couples to marry" No. I sympathize with the freedom of association arguments but two wrongs don't make a right. I have come to the conclusion that gay marriage is a reasonable extension of regular marriage and I agree with the recent Supreme Court decision authorizing such marriages. See also Diana Hsieh's arguments here.
  9. "Criminal justice system, victim's rights. Parole." Yes. This one makes sure you as a victim of a crime are notified of parole hearing and the like for the criminal and given a chance to voice your objections. What could be more reasonable?
  10. "Alternative fuel vehicles and renewable energy." No. See also 7. This one's another bond measure subsidizing "alternative fuel" vehicles. I think not.
  11. "Redistricting" Yes. A seemingly reasonable change of how districts are drawn away from local politicians and in the hands of an independent commission. I'll take a chance on that one.
  12. "Veteran's bond act of 2008" No. Again another bond. "Farm and home aid for California veterans" -- As much as I appreciate veterans, I think their benefits should come from the Federal government and I don't think should get farm and home aid.

Ugh! I hope at some point there will be some candidates worth voting for and a lot more good laws to support.

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