Thursday, June 10, 2010
The Usual Disappointment after an Election
I explained that I was disappointed because I always have the belief or the hope before an election that this time the voters will think about what's best for the people or the state and not their immediate feelings of anger, frustration, and fear. As near as I could tell, I said, the voters were motivated by two feelings in deciding their votes on the five propositions on the California State Ballot:
- Proposition 13 would allow buildings to be retrofitted for earthquake safety without any change in the property tax. It passed.
- Proposition 14 would abolish the present partisan primary election and replace it with a simple non-partisan election in which the two top vote-getters would run against each other in the fall general election. It passed.
- Proposition 15 would repeal the existing ban on state funding of election campaigns and provide funding for the Secretary of State election in 2014 and 2018. It failed.
- Proposition 16 would provide Pacific Gas and Electric a virtual monopoly on providing electrical power and gas to San Francisco. The monopoly could be broken by a 2/3 popular vote. It failed.
- Proposition 17 would provide that auto owners could bring their good driver discounts with them when they changed insurance companies. However, it eliminated many constraints and regulations from the insurance companies. It failed.
I am pleased that Propositions 16 and 17 failed. It shows that the voters saw through the ads in favor of them and realized that PG&E and Mercury Insurance were spending a pot of money to get them enacted. The only one of the five that I voted for, Proposition 15, failed. I think that 15 failed for the same reason that 13 passed. Both were regarded from the single point of view: taxes. Part of the argument against 15 was that, in order to raise the money to provide campaign funding, at some time in the future taxes would have to be increased. The same argument was persuasive in favor of 13. It was a guarantee not to raise taxes on a building even if the value of the building was greatly increased by the retrofit.
Proposition 14 appealed to the non-partisan or "independent" voters who are not members of political parties and hate the parties anyway. Propositon 14 gave them a chance to stick it to both major parties and all the minor ones and they took the opportunity.