I sent my mail ballot in a while back and voted a nice big “NO” on all these ridiculous propositions for this “special election” next week. Most people don’t know what they’re about, or that there’s even an election. Political nerds like me who actually tried to read this garbage found even more not to like, and voted no.
The whole concept of ballot measures at the state and local level has devolved into a joke. When the railroads ran the state and early 20th century reformers wanted to break their hold on government, the ballot measure idea was a good way to circumvent their hold on power. But today, it’s a cruel joke that’s making our state a laughingstock, and it may be time to pull the plug.
Today, the only people who can afford to put some crazy idea on the ballot are the wealthy special interests these things were supposed to fight. Worse, when someone gets one of these things passed, there’s no accountability. Want to make up some budget busting rules for the state? Put it on the ballot and who cares about unintended consequences? Want to make up some zany law declaring San Francisco a “sanctuary city?” Go for it, and when we have illegal alien felons having their “rights” protected from the long arm of the law, well whose ass do we kick for that? No one, that’s who….because it was a “vote of the people.”
Worse, whenever one of these bogus things get challenged, politicians and the courts are always fearful of “overturning a vote of the people.” Hey guess what? If “the people” vote for something truly stupid and unconstitutional, it should be tossed out with the garbage, because it’s unconstitutional. Who cares if “the people” voted on it? “The people” barely pay attention as-is, and their only information is from a slew of political ads. Not exactly a model of democracy, I’d say.
However, I think the best way to make a point about this is….to put a ballot measure up for a vote of the people. To paraphrase Sideshow Bob, I’m aware of the irony of using a ballot measure to point out its silliness so don’t bother pointing that out. Simply put, I think it’s time a group of Concerned Citizens put up the craziest “advisory” ballot measure ever to point how how useless it is. (Although in San Francisco, perhaps no one would get the joke).
Anyway, here’s a few ideas I’m spitballing here….feel free to come up with your own….remember we’re going to use the election system to take a poll about something completely ridiculous, so the zanier the better:
-An advisory measure asking the City to consider making Alcatraz Island into a facility for the cloning of dinosaur DNA and making a world-class dinosaur zoo in San Francisco.
-An advisory measure stating that San Francisco stands as a “sanctuary city” for unicorns, rainbows, and heart shaped stickers.
-An advisory measure asking the Mayor to wear a different colored tie than those blue ones he’s always wearing.
-An advisory measure declaring San Francisco’s support for JJ Abrams’ efforts to improve pop culture via Star Trek, Fringe, and LOST. Maybe make him an honorary mayor or something.
Anyway, you get the idea. Let’s get crazy!
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