KJ (owlmoose) wrote,
KJ
owlmoose

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Re-election day

I don't think I've ever been this unenthusiastic about an election ever. I forgot that it was happening several times over, including twice today when I was reminded by seeing a nearby polling place from my train stop, first while going to work and then again on the way home. Off-year elections are usually uninspiring, but this one is especially so -- Gavin Newsom, Boy Mayor, is assured reelection (despite all the personal problems he's had the last couple of years, and the various claims that he doesn't really do any work out of the mayoral office, no serious candidate mounted any campaign against him), as are all our other city officials, and the propositions are particularly annoying this year.

But I did my duty: cast my ballot for Gavin (whom I do still like, all scandals aside), perused a few endorsements and ended up voting against most of the propositions (although one that would require all city props to undergo public hearings got my fairly enthusiastic yes, because far too many of our propositions are pet projects dropped onto the ballot by the mayor and/or a handful of supervisors at literally the last minute). I have to vote, if nothing else because I feel too guilty if I don't.

Can I just take a minute to complain about the proposition system? I hate the proposition system. I get more annoyed by and cynical about it every year. We live in a representative democracy. We elect representatives (county supervisors, assembly reps, state senators, etc.) to craft the laws of the land because most laws have to balance all kinds of complex issues, priorities, precedents, other laws. How can we expect the citizens of a state, or a county, or even a large city, to be able to take all these issues into account? Direct democracy is a lovely idea, but we've outgrown it. We're too big, too complicated, too many competing issues. The best laws are made by negotiation and compromise, with the courts to curb the excesses, not by some individual with money and/or influence deciding that we need to outlaw horsemeat, for example. (Seriously. This was on the ballot in 1998. And it passed, by a margin of 10%.)

Okay, rant over.

Anyway. The more I think about it, the more I realize it's not just that this election is a bunch of minor issues and/or foregone conclusions. It's that next year is already looming large. And I just can't bring myself to care in comparison. Can it be November 2008 now please?
Tags: elections, politics, rant
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