My latest flickr post is of my voter information guide. I still know embarrassingly little about the gubernatorial race, though, and since neither Schwarzenegger nor Angelides were in the voter information guide, that couldn't help me. (You have to adhere to voluntary campaign spending limits to be in the guide.) I mean, Schwarzenegger does seem like he's finally making good on some of his promises to get the two parties to compromise, but I'm very much a DNC democrat for the most part, and don't agree with everything Schwarzenegger does. Now add to that the fact that I've hardly heard a thing about Angelides, good or bad, and I'm left pretty confused.
The other thing that bothered me was the number of bond measures on the ballot. I guess it's the save-before-spend Chinese in me, but I am just not a fan of loans. It seems to me that if we weren't paying off interest on the bonds of the past, we wouldn't even need the bonds on the ballot now... Shouldn't loans and bonds be for emergency needs and not everyday things? I guess I'd prefer new taxes to bonds, but new taxes are politically untenable.
I guess it's just part of our system now, though. One of my other nits is the idea of propositions in general. I don't like direct democracy. I figure we just don't have enough facts to make good decisions on most measures. So I ultimately decided to just go with the legislators and approve most of the bond measures.
I'm not so hot about the transportation one, though. I mean, are our roads really so bad that we need to borrow all that money to fix them right now? We already live in a country that heavily subsidizes road travel. I feel like the roads are doing fine as they are, and our money is better spent elsewhere. And yet, that's the one that was approved by the widest margin in the state legislature. I'm confused. And also, am I against the transportation one just because the other bonds are for touchy feely stuff? I mean, sure, homeless shelters are nice and all, but could we build more shelters in the long run with a bunch of money now or by building them over time with the added help of money we would've spent on bond interest?
I dunno. I imagine there are a lot of secondary effects of bonds, too, that I don't full appreciate, like how bond repayments take precedence over other budget items, so bonds become an odd way of enforcing priority in a way that you couldn't do just by pledging a certain amount of money each year for some cause. (Of course, that's just more evidence that these things are used to game the system in an inefficient way.) Anyone else know more about this stuff than I do care to elaborate?
I'm hoping I get to vote on a paper ballot this time, at least. Today's Diesel Sweeties takes on e-voting, and I'm now a bigger fan of Red Robot than ever. :D (Thus the title of this post.)
So yeah, if you're a US citizen, go out and vote today! Saheli pointed out that you can call 1-866-MY-VOTE-1 to find your polling place if you're registered but lost your voter pamphlet.
Update: I voted. My precinct uses electronic voting machines, but at least they had a paper record this time. I thought that was kinda cool and wanted to take a picture, but I asked the poll workers for permission and they wouldn't let me. Even though I was the only person in the polling center at the time, I can understand their adherence to the rules. Still, I refused the "I VOTED TOUCHSCREEN" sticker. I'd totally proudly wear an "I VOTED" sticker, but I am still not proud of voting touchscreen. (It's still too easy to fudge the numbers a little, but not enough to trigger a recount of the paper trail.)