Tuesday, May 19, 2009

California Special Election

Today is election day in California, and the air is tingling with an astonishing lack of enthusiasm. Maybe because all we have left are bad choices, or maybe really really bad choices. Calitics makes a good argument against all of the initiatives--in effect, they mitigate the short-term crisis but lock in bad policy (spending caps, e.g.) in the long term.

What Calitics doesn't offer is a plausible path to a better result. Despite 30 years of grim reality, Californians still seem to believe in the anti-tax fairy, who delivers all the goods and services of government without anyone having to pay. Worse, for some inexplicable (but probably related) reason, California voters overwhelmingly support the 2/3 majority requirement for passing a budget; when 35% of the legislature holds a gun to California's head, 60% of the voters are right there with them. We don't need initiatives to lock in bad policy. That shit is locked in already.

Here's the official voter guide. Figure it out for yourselves; I sure as shit don't know what to do.