With the General election a mere three weeks away I decided it was time to sit down with the County of San Diego's Voter Information Pamphlet. This is a very useful exercise that I recommend to everyone. Not only do you get to check out candidates, you also have the chance to see who is endorsing what. Most elected officials would disagree with me, but I believe an informed voter is wise voter. Voting for the person with the most signs or the biggest media budget is faulty logic. So in the spirit of a healthy democracy I have decided to give a brief overview of the upcoming election.
First of all let's look at the initiatives. PROP 1A is a no-brainer, as a student myself I can vouch for the need of this Bond Act. PROP 4 is long overdue, a yes vote here is a vote for the environment. As for Prop 5, a yes vote is the proper response to an organized attempt to undermine Native American sovereignty. As a vegetarian I support Prop 6, but this could open the way for a bovine discrimination lawsuit. Saying that it is wrong to eat a horse but not a cow seems rather arbitrary.
All the other propositions will get my affirmative vote. PROP 10 is a vice tax in the best sense. Increasing the price of cigarettes is the best deterrent to smoking I can think of. Those addicted to nicotine will smoke regardless of the price. The passage of PROP 10 will help discourage children from becoming addicted. Who could be against that?
One of the major issues confronting the residents of San Diego County is over-development, and the Rural Heritage and Watershed Initiative, aka Prop B is addressing this by giving voters are a chance to provide open space for future generations. Opponents of the RHWI say this will focus density in developed area, which is exactly what it is intended to do. Designed to protect undeveloped areas from the leapfrogging sprawl development that has brought the rest of the county to a near standstill. PROP B provides much needed breathing room.
O.K. we are now ready to address the partisan races. The race for Senator is another no-brainer. A vote for Republican Matt Fong is a vote against environmental integrity. Barbara Boxer is endorsed by the Sierra Club, and with 100% environmental voting record she is also endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters. Senator Boxer is the candidate who will continue to balance economic considerations with the environmental needs of Californians.
The Republican and the Democrats want you to think that your choice is between them. In fact they go out of their way to make sure alternative parties go unheard. Televised debates between the dominant parties never include others that might offer a different perspective. In the race for Governor, Dan Hamburg of the California Green Party is calling for proportional representation, protection of forests, wetlands, wild rivers, native species, and universal healthcare. In his words, "transformative politics that will enable human survival on a healthy planet." Something neither of the major parties is talking about.
The ballot we will cast on November 3rd is a chance for us to turn aside from short sighted policies, that favor short term gain over long term sustainability and property rights over environmental integrity. I will be casting my vote for the next seven generations. Will you?