There are 17 ballot initiatives for this election in California. At this rate, California needs to change its flag, not only because it completely violates rule number 4 of good flag design, but also because that writing is becoming completely false. A republic, as you all know, is a type of governmental system wherein the public elect individuals to go to create laws in their stead. In other words, I vote that you, someone whom I trust and who I know will dedicate the time and effort to do the job properly, and who has the knowledge to do just that, to go create the laws that will govern this land. Ballot initiatives are doing an end run around this.
I am not a fan on the whole of ballot initiatives. One, because they undermine the idea of a Republic. Two, because often they cannot be amended except by another ballot initiative – meaning they become inflexible bits of the system. Three, they are ripe for trickery and hoodwinking. And four, and most importantly, is their isolationism. Something may sound good in isolation, but once it gets into the complex system that is our society and our governance, they may and often do not play well. They have unintended consequences, unbalance things, and worst of all can tie the hand of the legislators. If you have four ballot initiatives all saying “X% of revenues must go to this/these specific things”, then next thing you realize most of the $ is allocated and can’t be adjusted to account for changing situations.
And when you have both trickery and hand tying, they can get really deleterious fast (and then you’re stuck because of needing another initiative to change it).
With that said, there are 17 ballot initiatives this election. So here’s my shadow ballot.
“Since I can’t vote, please allow me to tell you how to vote instead…”
Also, needless to say, this will be a long post… Continue reading