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You thought the folks in Palm Bch and Broward counties...(16 posts)

You thought the folks in Palm Bch and Broward counties...94Nole
Aug 12, 2003 6:50 AM
had trouble voting on a butterfly ballot? Just wait til CA voters go to the voting booth to pick one of 200+ gubernatorial candidates. I can hear it now, "I meant to vote for The Stripper and I ended up voting for Gary Coleman!!!! I've been disenfranchsed!!!!" I hope the CA Supreme Court is getting warmed up.

Can you imagine the debacle this will be?
re: You thought the folks in Palm Bch and Broward counties...ClydeTri
Aug 12, 2003 7:07 AM
Have been thinking the same thing..or, the people who vote that Gray Davis should not be recalled then want to vote for somebody in case he is? They will scream that they were disenfranchised. This is lawsuits waiting to happen..lawyers are lining up...
re: You thought the folks in Palm Bch and Broward counties...Alpedhuez55
Aug 12, 2003 7:39 AM
Didn't they have 7 guys named Gray Davis pull papers?? That is part of how JFK's father bought his first election in Massachusetts. They put a guy on the ballot with the same name as his opponent in the primary and split the vote.

There will probably be challenges here. Who knows what the ruling will be. I cannot beleive what courts they let NJ get away with last year. My guess is whatever happens will go through and they will change the consitution after it.

Mike Y.
why would it be?mohair_chair
Aug 12, 2003 7:14 AM
I think the fact that there are so many candidates makes this immune from challenge. If there is confusion, I can't see how it benefits any particular candidate, unlike in Florida. With this many candidates, it is essential that voters take great care to make sure they are voting for the right person. That's the deal--everyone knows it by now. There are a lot of candidates, choose wisely.

I think it should be like this every election. I'm tired of voting for some political hack or media darling that was chosen for me by guys in smoke filled rooms. I'm tired of primaries reducing the choices to the lowest common denominator. Part of the reason we are in this mess is because the last choice for governor was Davis or Simon, and no one wanted either one. Why bother voting?

Laugh at California if you want to, but but this is the people's election. This is what the Founding Fathers wanted. True democracy is being able to choose from 200 candidates, some good, some bad, some crazy, some sane. people who never had ANY hope of becoming governor because they didn't kiss the right asses in the party machines now have the chance. How can anyone argue with that?

California has always led the way on progressive political reform. Look for it to come to your backwards state sometime soon.

I think this whole recall thing is idiotic, by the way. Davis needs to go, but he will, in two years at the next election. Nevertheless, the recall is fact, and I like how anyone can get in. In a world of political malaise, I find it energizing.
Political reform? California? You can keep it...TJeanloz
Aug 12, 2003 7:21 AM
Isn't it generally understood that the core of California's problems is with the voter referendum system that they have? My understanding is that the voters have effectively set parameters for the legislature that are virtually impossible to live (or balance a budget) under - but I could be wrong, I am pretty far removed.

California, it seems, is under mob rule, and it isn't what I would call "progressive".
Aug 12, 2003 7:27 AM
The original idea is for a representative democracy. A true democracy where everbody votes on every issue is not practical. But I do like the concept of the people holding politicians accountable.
Too latemohair_chair
Aug 12, 2003 7:41 AM
The core of California's problems is that there are too many people here, and most of them come from somewhere else. If half of these people would go home, California would be a lot better off. I am a native, by the way.

The problem with the referendum system is that it has been hijacked. Back in 1911 or so when it was introduced it was revolutionary and led to many progressive reforms that most states have since copied. Everyone seems to hate California, or make fun of it, but few will admit that their own state usually copies what California does. Maybe your state doesn't have referendums, but I'll guarantee that most political reforms over the last century across the country originated here, many in (gasp!) Los Angeles.

Today, two things have happened. People have started relying on referendums instead of the legislature, mainly because legislators refuse to do anything that was politically risky. Of course, this is a circular problem. The use of referendums now has made the legislature useless, and the legislature has done everything it can to do nothing to change that perception.

Second is the rise of paid signature gathering organizations. It used to be hard to get a referendum on the ballot. It used to require a real effort and grass roots support, which kept a lot of junk off the ballot. Now, you can hire a company that will guarantee to get your wacky idea on the ballot, as long as you have the money to pay for it. The result is a lot of special interest crap that no one understands but they pass it anyway. The result is competing propositions that nullify each other if both pass. The result is negative questions where voting no means yes.

The referendum system is a great system, it just needs to be reformed.
sounds like you need a referendum to reform the...ClydeTri
Aug 12, 2003 7:47 AM
referendum system!
Aug 12, 2003 8:07 AM
Something has to be done to return it to the infrequently used, last resort option it was supposed to be. It used to be a way for the people to get measures on the ballot that their elected representatives wouldn't touch. Now it is a way for any person or organization with money to get stuff on the ballot, and then run a media campaign to get it passed.

I'm not sure what can be done. One change I'd like to see is that referendums must pass through the legislature. In other words, issues must go through our elected representatives first. If the legislature decides not to vote on the issue, then, and only then, can it become a referendum. I'm not sure how that would work, but that's my idea. There should be no bypass option.
the number I heard was...dr hoo
Aug 12, 2003 7:41 AM
... that only 10% of the state budget was under legislative control, while 90% was committed through initiatives and other mechanisms. That seems insanely high, but given CA, I buy it as being close to the truth.

Democracy only works until the masses discover they can vote themselves bread and circuses.
what did davis do (or not do) anyway? (nm)ColnagoFE
Aug 12, 2003 7:19 AM
I wish that I lived in "Crazyland"MR_GRUMPY
Aug 12, 2003 7:31 AM
I would like to run for Gov. of Ca. on the platform " No sales tax on Beer."
I bet I could pick up a lot of votes.
speaking of Beer, Canadian observation on CA system:Spunout
Aug 12, 2003 7:42 AM
Source: Jeffrey Simpson

Those who have lived in California, and appreciate something of that state's history, know that Texans have it wrong.

Texans always say everything is bigger (and better) in their state. In fact, California has more people, a much bigger economy (the world's fifth-largest), the tallest mountain in the continental United States, the most agriculture, more ethnic diversity (it will soon be the first U.S. state where non-Hispanic whites will be the minority), and politics that, even by !

Texan standards, are the zaniest in the country.

You can't understand the Arnold Schwarzenegger phenomenon — he's already leading in the polls and on the cover of this week's Time and Newsweek magazines — without grasping the fact that California represents populism gone wrong.

Populism, or progressive politics if you prefer, began early in the last century with the noblest of ideas. The state's economy was run, and its legislature controlled, by a handful of barons who owned the railroads, mines, timber and ranches.

Populists sought to wrest control, at least of the state government, from the barons and they succeeded. Over the decades, California politics began to feature citizen-sponsored initiatives, a mandatory two-thirds legislative majority for budgets and taxes, term limits, and recall of politicians, the device now being used against Governor Gray Davis.

Populism, however, led to the politics of millionaires and interest groups, including powerful trade unions. The "people," in other words, became synonymous with individuals, and groups with the money and organizational clout to use these "progressive" political devices for their own purposes in the name, of course, of the "people."

The result in recent years has been to cripple effective government, proper public finance and sound public policy. Compromise and moderation became dirty words, or at least virtues that could not compete with mobilized special interests.

In a television-saturated and star-struck culture, political success also meant money — huge amounts of money — to buy the television advertising and pay the organizers to win electoral or initiative campaigns. Mr. Davis spent $70-million (U.S.) getting elected last time. A congressional candidate needs at least $15-million; a serious senatorial candidate many times that amount.

Only millionaires, or politicians with access to them or powerful vested interests, can compete in California politics, a development those noble populists of yesteryear never contemplated.

Between 1978 and 2000, 118 initiatives appeared on California ballots, and 52 passed. Some of them (for conservation, for example) made sense; others were cripplingly stupid.

The two worst were those requiring mandatory prison terms for three-time criminal offences, no matter how small the offence, and the infamous Proposition 13, organized by wealthy businessman Howard Jarvis, that capped property taxes. The "three strikes" initiative burdened the government with the cost of new prisons. Proposition 13 gutted education funding, so that the California system, once the nation's pride, became one of the worst.

The two-thirds majority to pass a state budget produces annual gridlock in Sacramento. Democrats, in cahoots with organized labour, resist spending cuts; Republicans insist on more tax cuts despite dreadful fiscal news. Ideologies clash, and nothing gets gone. The high-tech boom of the 1990s obscured the state's problems as Republicans pushed for lower taxes and Democrats for higher spending. Gridlock meant that when revenues fell, as they did when the high technology sector fizzled, the legislature fiddled, fussed and resorted to gimmicks. That's how Governor Davis and the legislature papered over this year's $38-billion deficit.

The appeal of the outsider in such a syst
Oh, and this will help prevent the confusion - please read94Nole
Aug 12, 2003 9:17 AM
From the AP:

"On Monday, state election officials randomly drew letters to determine the order of the Oct. 7 recall ballot.

Jeff Rainforth, chairman of the Reform Party of California, thought he'd won top billing after R was the first letter pulled out of the Keno-style tumbler.

"We were pretty ecstatic," said the 35-year-old Rainforth, whose name ranks first — alphabetically, at least — among 15 would-be governors whose surnames begin with the lucky letter.

But under the lottery-style system, the reordered 26-letter alphabet — beginning R, W, Q, O, J, M, V, A and eventually ending with L — is applied throughout candidates' names.

That means that David Laughing Horse Robinson, chairman of the Kawaiisu Indian tribe, goes first, not Rainforth, because O comes before A in the state's newfangled alphabet.

To avoid giving any one candidate a lasting edge, their names will be rotated one position for each Assembly district, of which there are 80. Robinson's name will be first on the ballot only in California 1st district, which stretches from the northernmost border to Sonoma County.

The precise order and its potential ramifications won't be known until late Wednesday, however, when Shelley certifies how many candidates actually qualified for the ballot.

The state has used this system since 1975 to help erase the estimated 5 percent advantage a candidate gets from being at the top of the ballot. "

My response ? Simply Unbelievable!
best way...believe it or not...ClydeTri
Aug 12, 2003 9:31 AM
Studies have shown that in elections where you have a laundry list of candidates, such as school board elections where you might be told to vote for 7 out of 30 or 40 names, many people just vote the first seven names on the ballot and in many places those names are listed, sadly, they have to do such things because the voters are so lazy...
do you have a better idea?mohair_chair
Aug 12, 2003 9:37 AM
This seems like the ideal way to ensure that no candidate gets an unfair advantage.