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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Democracy Market's (Brief) California Special Election Voter Guide

Here is Democracy Market's Voter Guide to Tuesday's Special Election. Do with it what you will. Where we are not in agreement, our individual opinions are posted. Links to previous posts for more detailed arguments will be added when time permits.

Remember: Get out and vote on Tuesday. But only if you agree with us. Just kidding.

Prop. 73 Parental Notification and Waiting Period: Ben - Probably no. Jordan - Yes.
Ben– I don’t feel strongly one way or another and imagine nothing I could say will sway anyone. My libertarian leanings (even for minors) leaves me probably voting no on this, though I understand and respect arguments for yes.

Jordan-- Yes. Whatever else it might be, abortion is a profound decision that affects the life of a teenager for many, many years. Parents should be involved in such decisions for minors. This prop includes a judicial override for exceptional circumstances.

Prop. 74 Teacher Tenure: Yes.
Ben – Yes. Choice and flexibility is almost always good. Good teachers won’t be affected because no one will want to fire them. I understand the argument that it only takes a year or two to weed out the bad ones, but why not err on the side of flexibility. I’ll vote yes.

Jordan - Yes. Prop 74 will increase education quality. The only group that stands to lose are badly performing teachers. The groups that stand to gain are the other teachers, school administrators, parents, and kids.

Prop 75 Public Employee Union Dues: Ben - Probably No. Jordan - Yes.
Ben – I have mixed emotions on this. I generally favor anything unions oppose. And this in no way “silences firefighters” or any of that crap. Firefighters can still form the “We Hope Arnold Dies of Mouth Cancer” PAC to express their views, and those that don’t agree won’t have to contribute. Still, I have a problem with the government telling any private organization (even one made up of public employees who have little choice but to contribute) their political speech will be limited. I’ll probably vote no on that basis.

Jordan - Yes. While I share Ben's reluctance to let the government regulate private groups, these group is not truly private because it public sector unions are composed entirely of public employees whose salaries are paid by the taxpayer. That fact overcomes my reluctance. I view this Prop as protecting the rights (and paychecks) of individual union members who have minority political views.

Prop 76 State Spending and School Funding: Yes.
Probably not perfect, but we tend to favor anything that checks spending in Sacramento. We’ll both be voting yes.

Prop 77 Reapportionment Process: YES!!!
Ben - If you do one thing on Tuesday, vote YES on Prop 77. Incumbents in both parties (and apparently Judge Wopner) oppose it – this tells us something. 153 seats and none changed hands with approval ratings around 30%. Voters need to pick their politicians, not vice versa. Vote yes. See here, here and here for additional commentary.

Prop 78 & 79 Drug Discounts: No and No.
We're almost positive better policies (i.e., policies not written by people with so much to gain or lose) exist. Vote no on both. If you absolutely feel the need to vote for one, vote Yes on 78 and No on 79, because 79 increases bureaucracy - never a winning formula for quality.

Prop 80 Electric Service Providers: No.
Regulation is not the answer to California's power woes, we just need to make sure deregulation is done right (see airfare and long distance rates). More regulation is never going to add production capacity, which is one of the major problems. Vote no.