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Forty-eight. That’s how many items were on my ballot last week.

Seven Statewide Offices, one Board of Equalization, one U.S. Senator, one U.S. Representative, one State Assemblymember, 14 Associate Justices of the Court of Appeals, one Superior Court Judge, three San Diego Community College District Trustees, two San Diego Unified School District Trustees, 13 Statewide Propositions and four Local Propositions.

Yes, 48.

Two items were federal and the other 46 items were state and local. What’s wrong with this picture?! Gee, why are people becoming less and less enamored with voting and democracy? Hmmmm, I wonder. Maybe it’s because the average person has no clue as to what the Board of Equalization is/does/purpose/intent why are we voting for it? Hey, at least it’s not the Board of Unequalization right? That’s a good thing, I guess. Also, why are there 14 Associate Justices of the Court of Appeals on my ballot? I have no clue who these people are, what they do, and quite frankly I have refused to vote for any judges in the past few years. Call me old fashioned, but I kind of like the traditional executive nominated-legislature approved way of picking judges.

I have a dream. My dream is that someday I’m going to pass a ballot proposition to abolish ballot propositions or at least seriously change the way we do them. Less is more, people. YES means NO. NO means YES. Group A wants to stick it to Group B. Group C wants to stick it to Group A and B and heck Group D if they can get away with it. In the end, I hate all of them anyway. Nice job. Time for a beer.

“Democracy is the worst form of government, compared to all the rest” Sir Winston Churchill.

He’s right.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love democracy. My family escaped communism and fascism. So as a first generation Yankee I kind of have this deep affinity for the good ol’ U.S. of A. and this democracy stuff. However, too much democracy can be as bad, or even worse, as too little.

So last week as I pondered the fate of the 48, I also asked myself numerous questions: Why are we voting for so much? Why for so many different positions? Why are there so many government entities? Is it a federal or state or local problem? Is our democracy broken? Can we fix it? How do we fix it? Does anybody really care?

The biggest exports of the United States of America have always been democracy and representative government. Remember: “Arsenal of Democracy” circa World War II.

However, now-a-days “the arsenal” spends a lot of time pointing fingers at other people and saying: “Hey you, get with the program! Be a democracy…like us. Do as we say, don’t do as we do.” I think we need to look internally and repair, and then maintain, our democracy and representative government.

Democracy is a race that never ends. America must always keep running. I believe in America.

ADRIAN KWIATKOWSKI

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