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In November 2006 I had 48 items on my ballot. Yes, 48.
With November 2008 knocking at my door, I only have 28 items on my ballot. A 20-item reduction … Thank (whomever)! It is not that I mind this whole voting/democracy/opining thing. In fact, I am rather enamored of my own political opinions. I am of the opinion that we have some elected offices that do not need to be so. I also believe that almost anything can get on the ballot in the form of a proposition … and it usually does.
So let’s look at the 28 of ’08.
Elected Officials: 11
One President and Vice President (Tangent: One vote for two people = efficient), one U.S. Representative, one State Senator, one State Assembly Member, two community college trustees, three school board members, one City Attorney and one City Councilmember.
State and Local Propositions: 17
(Twelve state propositions, five local propositions).
There are more propositions on the ballot than elected officials, isn’t that just great? I firmly believe that voting on 28 items is a bit much. When you read most of the propositions these are issues that should be decided by elected officials not the ballot box anyway.
If we look at the breakdown, only two ballot items this year are federal government related. Nice and simple. Unless you have been living under a rock for the last 220+ years you pretty much know what the President, Vice President and a member of Congress does. Plus, there are no federal propositions. Just imagine what would happen if federal propositions were allowed and you could amend the U.S. Constitution willy-nilly. Scary.
The remaining 26 items are state and local. In California you can amend the state constitution, and a whole bunch of other stuff, willy-nilly as you, or your favorite interest group, see fit. All it takes is a little bit of political know-how and a whole bunch of hard cold cash.
I have a few ideas on how to reform our voting process, what gets on the ballot, and who we vote for, and I will share those in my next post. In the meantime, I would like to hear what your thoughts are on this subject.
1. Do you think we vote on too much?
2. What are your suggested reforms?