So if you’re a registered voter you’ve probably received your pamphlet for the upcoming June 3 primary election. First of all, they probably should have come up with a better name than “primary election,” it’s so played out, what with the other primary election we had less than 90 days ago. (Sure fine, one was a presidential primary and this one is statewide.) But more importantly, your pamphlet for this election contains 2 things: Propositions 98 and 99. Which — without boring you by actually doing any research into the props — are for all practical purposes opposing pieces of legislation. Both descriptions contain language to the effect that if this one passes the other one most likely won’t take effect. This is where things get interesting.
It strikes me that this is quite possibly the most Titanically absurd ballot in the history of democracy. Sure, there is the much-discussed mayoral race, and a bunch of other state and local races. (Many of which have one candidate running unopposed.) But these propositions concern the same topic, Eminent Domain, and each for all practical purposes cancels the other one out.
I am told that Prop 98 is pure evil, the dream of the eeevil developers and their stinking money and backed by a shadowy multi-national corporation or somesuch, and that Prop 99 is sort of a lesser evil that exists merely to prevent Prop 98’s evil from killing us all. One wonders why the folks behind Prop 99 bypassed the much easier and probably more effective tactic of just putting money into getting people to vote down Prop 98. Oh, I’m sure there’s some boring reason.
This is a weird topic for sure, because next to Free Speech nothing is as sacrosanct as voting rights in a liberal democracy such as ours. So I suppose it is only the irresponsible contrarian in me who thinks that this whole initiatives business in California is getting ridiculous. WTF is your average, relatively plugged in, not-really-enough-time to research topics that aren’t life-or-death like eminent domain voter to do with these 2 pieces of legislative crap that have arrived in the mail?
Well, the answer is obvious: No on both. Send them a message, stick your bullshit double reverse initiatives where the sun don’t shine. However, I wouldn’t be CoolDMZ if I didn’t offer you a more daring alternative…
Vote yes on both of them. Show those bastards (whoever they are) that we see their crap and raise them a big fat pile of disinterest. Why? Because screw them, that’s why. I think this Prop 98 and 99 fiasco makes it transparent that the initiatives process in CA is not about what the people want. Maybe it was at some point. But this is literally just 2 “special interests” (not my favorite term) fighting each other to force us to choose which one we like better. Do we want to bar state and local governments from condemning or damaging private property for private uses (98) or would we rather bar state and local governments from using eminent domain to acquire an owner-occupied residence, as defined, for conveyance to a private person or business entity (the other one)? The pro and con arguments in the voter guide, and their corresponding rebuttals, are hilariously written by the same matrix of folks.
Both!! Do it! Now!! Vote yes on both! Yay Democracy!!
Note to potential commenters: I think it is pretty obvious that I do not have the interest level required to actually read and determine what these props do. I know the proposals are different but: I just don’t. Care. So please, I am leaving myself open to being called an uninformed clod, and I urge you to confine your responses to helping me make sense of this ridiculous ballot.