Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The results of the Texas Republican Ballot Propositions

In case anyone is wondering, Rick Perry is now the Republican nominee for Texas governor. 
If those who voted for Perry's competitors are wondering what they can now do to support a fiscal conservative, please go here for a look at the Libertarian Party's candidates.  Any of the four would be better than Governor Trans-Texas Corridor and the Eminent Domain nightmare associated with this project. 

On to the other issues associated with the Republican ballot (here's a sample).  These are the Republican Ballot Propositions and their results.  As one blogger commented, this collection of wedge issues reads like a poorly constructed "push poll". 
Ballot Proposition #1: Photo ID

The Texas Legislature should make it a priority to protect the integrity of our election process by enacting legislation that requires voters to provide valid photo identification in order to cast a ballot in any and all elections conducted in the State of Texas.

92% of Republican voters favored this one.  There's one difficulty, though.  Which poll worker is qualified to say whether a voter looks enough like his photo I.D. to vote?  Many bloggers have called this the anti-Mexican, anti-Black voter proposition.  I used to buy beer and cigarettes with my father's drivers license, and I see no way for this to be effective for either side. 

Ballot Proposition #2: Controlling Government Growth

Every government body in Texas should be required to limit any annual increase in its budget and spending to the combined increase of population and inflation unless it first gets voter approval to exceed the allowed annual growth or in the case of an official emergency.

92% of Republican voters favored this one.  Ballot propositions like this one always have an escape hatch for an official emergency.  Everything is an emergency.  We are always in crisis.  It is imperative that we take action now, before it is too late.  Spur 308 has a defective sewer drain that threatens our way of life ! !
This ballot proposition was nothing but pointless feelgoodery.  We need to vote out the Crips and the Bloods and replace them with politicians who promise to start shutting things down.  Half measures will get us nowhere. 

Ballot Proposition #3: Cutting Federal Income Taxes

In addition to aggressively eliminating irresponsible federal spending, Congress should empower American citizens to stimulate the economy by Congress cutting federal income taxes for all federal taxpayers, rather than spending hundreds of billions of dollars on so-called "federal economic stimulus".

93% of Republicans favored this one.  I don't.  I believe that all government spending should immediately show up in the amount of taxes held back from your paycheck.  Especially during wars, emergencies and disasters.  It would focus our attention wonderfully, don't you think? 

Ballot Proposition #4: Public Acknowledgement of God

The use of the word "God", prayers, and the Ten Commandments should be allowed at public gatherings and public educational institutions, as well as be permitted on government buildings and property.

95% of Republicans went for this.  95% of Republicans who voted were willing to listen to Rick Perry pray, would be willing to hear Tim Curry discuss the 10 Commandments, and would be willing to hear a representative from the Teacher's Union discuss his or her thoughts about God. 
You can go here for my other rants on this subject. 
In the words of Mark Twain, I'm going to spend the rest of my day praying for the damnation of the human race. 

Ballot Proposition #5: Sonograms

The Texas Legislature should enact legislation requiring a sonogram to be performed and shown to each mother about to undergo a medically unnecessary, elective abortion.

Only 68% of Republicans went for this one.  There are only two people who should have a vote on abortion, and that's the mother and the doctor doing the procedure.  We're getting very close to this being a losing issue for the Theocrats. 
My maternal grandmother once chose to have an abortion.  My maternal unh... mother, during an insanely difficult and risky pregnancy, decided not to.  That's why I'm here.  I stand by both decisions, and wish that everyone else would. 

If you are a Republican voter and found yourself embarrassed by these crude wedge issues, the Libertarian Party awaits. 
Here's a picture of an embarrassed monkey.  I found it here.  I couldn't find one of an embarrassed elephant. 


Hot Sam said...

Please explain your apparent opposition to Ballot Proposal 1. If I misunderstood, please set me straight.

We vote by secret ballot, therefore the ONLY guardian of free and fair elections is guarding the ballot box. The best way to do this is to require prior (not same day) registration and photo ID.

A signature verification, which is done in California, presents two problems. First, nothing prevents someone from registering AS some other eligible voter who they KNOW will not vote and thus the signatures will match. 2. It requires poll judges to be handwriting experts instead of photo analysts.

Every bar bouncer, every check casher, every firearms dealer, every TSA officer is capable of matching photo IDs with people's faces with few problems. Why would you believe election judges would have a problem?

Illegal immigrants DO vote in California elections. The only form of I'd required to register is a utility bill to prove RESIDENCE, not eligibility. We have eligibility requirements for elections as outlined in the Constitution. I assume you wish them to be followed. In the days before photography there was an excuse for more lenient measures (which led to prodigious ballot box stuffing). We now have the means to prevent that.

Absentee balloting is the newest method of Demon Rat ballot box stuffing to not only get around ID requirements but to facilitate voting in multiple precincts or states or manufacturing votes.

What do you think ACORN was spending all their time doing?

That Damn Libertarian said...

These propositions are much too weak. Only white, male, land owners should be allowed to vote and I'm thinking Beethoven's Ninth would be good background music for the sonogram.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

My primary objection to it is the wedge issue/push poll nature of the exercise.
Let's have a ballot proposition on what the average lifespan should be. Let's do another on whether people should be nice to their mothers and their puppies.

The entire exercise is designed to make people feel nice and warm and safe within the Republican party, where no foreign people are coming to take away their Social Security, Medicaid, or Medicare. Republicans aren't about to require a photo I.D. They would have no idea how to implement the program.

I'll affirm that this is the most rational one of the five, but in an ideal world, photo I.D. shouldn't matter in a voting booth.

If it really matters who wins an election? Government is too big.

End of story. Hope this makes sense.


Hot Sam said...

Sorry, I was reading the post on my tiny phone screen and didn't catch your point about the push polls. I hang up on all polls on contact.

I catch your drift about the size of government but it doesn't obviate the ideology of the elected officials. Even if they act within the specified powers of the Constitution, they will write MANY laws which can cause great mischief. Ideology matters!

We can't simply rely on wishful thinking that our leaders will remain true to the Constitution. There is too much to gain from deviating from it.

Who guards our liberty?

Have we jailed or impeached ANY politicians for exceeding their Constitutional authority?

How many military coups have we had?

How many civil wars?

How many massive popular uprisings?

Since the Civil War, there has been no appetite for enforcing the basic tenets of the Constitution. We've traded liberty for the stability of oscillating back and forth between centralized and decentralized government. George Washington warned us about that.

But our winner take all, first past the post system of elections creates a stable equilibrium for two parties. If a third party arose, one of the other two would evaporate and the remainders would gravitate toward the political center of their side. So if the Libertarian Party won power, it would eventually become Libertarian in Name Only.

We would need proportional representation to achieve multiple party rule and that would require Constitutional amendment.

This is why I don't identify with any particular party. But I do know that if my vote would make a difference in a close election, I wouldn't vote for the guy in third place! Plurality with run-off could make our voting system a lot more efficient. Then you could vote for your best choice and still have a say for your second best choice.

Dr Ralph said...

I don't always see eye to eye with our friend Nick, but I think he's spot on with the observation that if the Libertarian Party won power, it would eventually become Libertarian in Name Only.

There's a reason there's not that much difference between the Mommy Party and the Daddy Party.

Dr Ralph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr Ralph said...

...A follow up. There is a great Kurt Vonnegut quote that addresses the same: “The two real political parties in America are the Winners and the Losers. The people don't acknowledge this. They claim membership in two imaginary parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, instead.”

Hot Sam said...

Ralph, I was an observer of the first free elections in Kosovo's history. It was a breathtaking event. People stood in line up to 12 hours to vote.

The sad part was that the voters were choosing which of two groups of crooks was going to loot their Treasury. One group was more moderate and educated. The other were a bunch of terrorists and organized criminals.

Fortunately, the less evil crooks won.

But don't even get me started on the two UN administrators who absconded with a total of over $60 million from that poor country's state-owned oil and telecommunications companies.

I may lean more to the right than the left, but belief me I see and despise the thievery on both sides of the aisle. The Republicans, after taking power in 1994, were a huge disappointment. I was also disappointed with George W. Bush, but likely for the completely opposite reason you are.

I had to hold my nose voting for McCain. Honestly, I don't see many people in government who deserve to be there.

Every president in my lifetime has been no better than average intellect and ability. Nearly everyone in Congress is below-average. It takes a narcissist with low opportunity costs to want to hold public office.

We need term limits:

Four three-year terms for the House.
Three four-year terms for the Senate.
Two four-year terms for the President.

We'll get livelier races with better candidates.