california’s culture war

By now, you have probably heard that Californians will be voting on a ballot initiative, Proposition 8,* that will ban same-sex marriage in the state, just after the state supreme court overturned the ban that was put into place by legislators. The polls show a very close race on this initiative.

But that is not the only issue California is dealing with.  There is also Proposition 4, which is a fairly standard parental notification requirement for women under 18 who choose to get an abortion. Similar ballot initiatives have failed in California in the past. The L.A. Times, however, is reporting that this year, perhaps because of Proposition 8’s ability to get social conservatives to the polls, the result may be different.

Both of these would amend the state constitution of California.

There are also several initiatives dealing with criminal offenses (both victims rights law and provisions for treatment of people convicted of drug offenses). In addition the NY Times had a really interesting piece on Proposition 2, which adds animal protection requirements to the meat industry. Remember the story about the mistreatment of animals in a slaughterhouse? Well, it seems that this plant was shut down, and this event was a way to raise public awareness of the problem prior to this ballot initiative.

A lot going on, and it makes me wish I still voted in California. I haven’t lived there in a long time, and my voter eligibility is in my last state of residence, Iowa. However, the state only allows residents to vote in state elections. This is very different from Iowa, which invites me to vote in even local elections.

*I really miss the official voter guides of California. I think all states should go to the trouble and expense of putting these together.

3 thoughts on “california’s culture war”

  1. i like the voter guide too… i’ve been really active on Prop 8 lately, i’m very worried it will pass. Prop 4 is totally silly. The criminal justice ones are driving me nuts, most especially the one that purports to be about victims rights even though it’s really an attempt to lengthen prison sentences (’cause that’s what we really need in CA!) and all of the ‘rights’ for victims either already exist or won’t survive a legal challenge. Ahhh!!

    I don’t like prop voting, especially in cases where it hampers the legislature in areas of emerging technology (e.g., energy). Also, since most of us are low information voters, it strikes me as reckless, manipulative, and stupid to let the public decide many of these things by prop vote — for example, i’m pretty well-educated but the props related to energy are fairly complex and i still don’t know whether i voted the way i wanted to on them. is this terribly undemocratic of me?

    have you seen the yes on prop 8 ads? they are appalling…

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  2. Appalling is the perfect word for those ads. There’s clearly a lot of time and money going into them and I’m sure they’re one reason it seems to be such a close race.

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  3. I voted my whole life in CA until the age of 29 when I moved to IL. Hubby and I waited and waited for the book to come so we could know how to vote and were SHOCKED that there is no such thing here.

    The whole proposition process has so screwed up CA that I can’t believe the population has not risen up. The confusing wording, the focus groups to figure out the best way to confuse people in the wording. It is not the so called democracy that I object to in this process (although some things should not be democratically determined), but the blatant abuse of the vehicle by people with money. I don’t miss that one bit.

    Instead, here in Chicago I am learnign to accept the blatant abuse of power associated with family ties ot the machine.

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