State Ballot Pamphlet

Well, the election ballot pamphlet came in the mail and I spent several hours reading, studying and pondering Propositions 78 through 106. I found my Ph.D degree and 28 years of research and university teaching experience to be only somewhat helpful in this task. To make intelligent choices in how to vote on most of these propositions requires a lot more than the text and a few paragraphs of pro and con arguments.

What has happened in our democracy to our republican form of government where it was the job of elected public officials to pass and enforce laws? Yes, it is a great idea to have the right to directly place on the ballot and to vote directly for propositions. However, I thought that propositions were for those relatively few cases where the public really wanted something badly and there was an obvious unacted upon wrong as in the case of Proposition 13. Now we seem to be on our way to there being more propositions than bills passed by the Legislature. In that case voters should get a salary, say $10 for every proposition they have to vote on.

Seriously, we need still another proposition which would require that for a proposition to get on the ballot something like 800,000 signatures would be needed and that the proposition would have to pass by about 60% of the votes to become law. We need the proposition process but it should be used seldom and not become a rival to the state Legislature. Legislators should not be let off the hook by an easy proposition process.


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