I Get To Vote For The First Time! Yay!
First of all, I’d like to give a big big thank you to everyone who wrote back on my October 18 2005 Rant. All of you had kind things to say and I’m overjoyed to know that you guys are there for me. Though, I did ask for actual comments… haha j/k.
So, if you’re wondering (in despair or relief) why I haven’t been writing about politics lately, it isn’t because I have nothing to write about. LOTS of things have been going on in the political realm since my last political column regarding the Republican Party’s failure to prevent and respond effectively to the disaster brought by Hurricane Katrina. The reason why I haven’t written many columns is because I’ve been locked in a titanic struggle between a woefully inefficient study habit on one hand and a steadily increasing workload on the other. So… no time. So the massive political update I was planning on is further delayed. (See details at the end of this column.)
But today, something wonderful happened that makes me put aside my mega-busy schedule to blog. At approximately 7:15 PM PST, today November 8 2005, I voted in an actual election for the very first time! I went to the wrong place at first (I thought Price Center Gallery B was Price Center Ballroom B) but I found the polling place and sat down with my ballot and felt pen and circled in the little bubbles. At the end I stuck the ballot into the optical scanner (which looks hella ghetto cuz it’s housed in a white cardboard box) which sucked my ballot down with a swish.
Because I believe in accountability and voting on principle, I’ll share my voting record for Election 2005 with ya’ll.
City of San Diego Mayor
Councilmember Donna Frye (D) vs. Jerry Sanders (R)
I voted for Frye. Sanders seemed nice enough for a Republican, but his support for cutting/privatizing city services and cutting city workers’ salaries was unpalatable. I thought Frye was much more the defender of active government that I tend to support. Plus her call for open, accountable city government didn’t hurt either.
San Diego mayoral candidate Donna Frye (D). Source: OC Register.
Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor’s Pregnancy
I voted NO. Right to privacy is for all women, regardless of age.
Public School Teachers’ Probationary Period Increase
I voted NO. This is probably the proposition I knew and cared least about, but I believe two years before tenure for teachers is good enough to honestly evaluate a teacher’s performance. It’s not like poor teachers who are tenured can’t learn better teaching skills later on. They can even be fired if they’re that bad (though I do admit it’s difficult). Finally, I felt that increasing tenure would discourage people from entering the teaching profession.
Restriction on Political Contributions with Public Employee Union Dues
I voted NO. This proposition is just another measure to weaken the already-debilitated labor unions. One of the whole points of a labor union is to fight for better worker’s rights, and a good part of that fight is in the political arena. If the complaint is because such contributions flow disproportionately to Democrats, then the reason should be obvious: it’s because Democrats are the superior party on worker’s rights! C’mon, who was the last Republican to go to bat for the grungy laborer fighting against the tyrannical plutocrat? TR, methinks.
State Spending and School Funding Limits
I voted NO. This was the proposition I felt most strongly about. As those who know me politically know, I firmly believe in the concept of active, “big” government and cutting/limiting spending is antithetical to that concept. (Unless it’s truly “wasteful” spending, but this proposition makes no such distinction.) It didn’t take me long to figure out where I stood on this one.
Reapportionment with Three-Judge Panel
I voted NO. This was the hardest proposition for me to decide on; originally I was supporting it because I really think that California’s districts are gerrymandered to the point of obscene. But my problem with this plan was that it would go into effect before the voters could approve it. Other than that, I don’t find much fault with it and I hope Californian leaders of both parties will work in the future towards creating fair and simple districts. Given that our current districts are the result of a bipartisan gerrymandering orgy in the State Legislature, I doubt it’ll happen. Maybe I should have voted yes.
Discounts on Prescription Drugs (Voluntary Private Initiative)
I voted NO. The main problem is that private companies have the choice of deciding whether or not to provide the discount. Since when do private companies engage in any kind of charity that cuts into their profit margin? Besides, drug delivery should be a government mandate.
Discounts on Prescription Drugs (Government-Regulated Initiative)
I voted YES. Now this is a drug plan I can get behind! Government regulation, good! (I know any right-wingers reading this must be gagging.)
Electric Service Regulation by California Public Utilities Commission
I voted YES. Public utilities should be in the hands of the public – i.e. government – what a concept! Though I would actually prefer that public utilities and energy be in the domain of the federal government. That might be too radical for my fellow Democrats to support. At the very least, the federal government should subsidize energy and utilities at the state and local levels, particularly when it comes to conversion to cleaner energy sources.
An apparently well-educated gentleman in the College Democrats meeting last Thursday said this proposition was a bad idea because it would lead to the state government passing the administrative costs to students in the form of higher tuition. I didn’t believe him (because I couldn’t see why public ownership of utilities would be more expensive than private ownership) but even if that’s true, I had to vote for this proposition on ideological grounds. Besides, it appears our tuition is going to go up anyway.
So, that’s my voting record for Election 2005 – yes on Frye, no on 73-78, and yes on 79-80. It’s pretty consistent with the Democratic Party’s line, but that’s not because I’m some kind of mindless party robot. As I mentioned above, I was really torn on Proposition 77. If any vote was influenced by the Party line, it was my No vote on 77.
One final note before I go. Remember that mondo multi-part political series that was supposed to be out for “late September or early October”? Yeah, obviously that didn’t happen. It’s like StarCraft: Ghost – it keeps getting delayed. I do want to get it done by the end of the year, which means I’d have to get it done by mid-December since that’s when I’ll be going to my parents’ Internet-less house (though I hear that they plan on finally getting Internet). Hopefully I can start working on it this (long) weekend. See you on the other side.