Tuesday, May 29, 2012

For Tuesday I Walk to the Village

It's election day here in Texas, always a fun  and patriotic occasion. I voted in an empty polling place...they said that it had been busy earlier, but a bit after 1PM it was totally deserted, if you don't count the kindergarten kids who were on their way from someplace to someplace else. We vote in the local elementary school, which I discovered (actually during the last election a couple of weeks ago) has a new slogan: "Ubiquitous!" No, I don't know why that makes sense, but then again that's just a distraction.

So: I voted, and voted, and voted again. Not too bad; only 32 times. Three of which should hardly count, since they were the quaint local custom of putting non-binding "Propositions" on the ballot, I guess to advise the parties -- these are party-generated questions which only appear on that party's ballot. In Texas, Democrats got to say that they support in-state tuition and the Dream Act for immigrants and casino gambling (I assume the advocates put that one on the ballot, but I don't really know); Republicans got to say they were for school choice, against "Obamacare", for public prayer, for a balanced budget amendment, and for yet another round of redistricting.

Anyway, I had 32 votes to cast, although many of those were single candidates...I didn't count, but I think it was somewhere below half of the ballot had choices, although president, US Senate, and US House all did. We went with a strict division of labor in my household on this one, with my wife doing all the research and recommendations, all of which I went along with...but alas she didn't give me any guidance on the 73rd Judicial District Election, in which David A. Canales was matched up with Paul Canales. Such choices! Democracy! I guessed.

The ballot this time had relatively few offices that are easy to ridicule, so I won't...just lots and lots of judges, which I don't really think we should be voting on (these are the judicial judges; we also have county executive judges in Texas, but that wasn't on the ballot this time around).

As for the tally: 32 votes today. Two election days this year, with a total of 38 votes; three election days this cycle, with 40 things to vote for. That compares with five election days and 115 votes in 2010, so this year is quite a bit slower -- doesn't look like we'll get to 100. Next up will be any runoff elections generated from today's ballot...no idea if we'll see one or not.

And as always, it's a great patriotic feeling to get out there and vote, but really we do vote on too many things.


  1. LA County, June 5 primary ballot:

    > US Senator
    > US Rep
    > State Assembly member
    > 6 judgeships
    > DA
    > County supervisor (i.e. board member)
    > 2 state initiatives
    > 2 county initiatives

    So, only 15 total votes. It's like they're not even trying.

    1. Wow. That's sort of amazing. Only two state ballot measures? Incredible.

      Matt (Jarvis), how does Orange County look?

    2. I get a partisan (Dem) ballot, so it looks like:

      US Senator
      US Rep
      State Senator (really, one of the most competitive seats in the state)
      State Assembly
      1 judge
      2 state initiatives
      2 county initiatives

      And you should see the state measures. Positively tame. Another attempt by Thad (Kousser....well, not him, but he cut an ad for these folks the last time they tried this, so I like to make fun of him for that) to consolidate term limits into 12 years total instead of 6 Assembly + 8 Senate, and a cigarette tax to fund cancer research.

      (I'll let you guess which prop has the most (and most deceptive) advertising)

    3. Yeah, just two CA state measures. Here they are, if you're interested:

      PROP 28: State legislators' term limits reduced from 14 to 12 years. Bad idea.

      PROP 29: Additional $1/pack tax on cigarettes to fund cancer research. Fine by me.

    4. Also, the Republicans running against Feinstein include diehard birther Orly Taitz.

    5. Jeff: why do you figure the term limits thing is a bad idea? The idea behind it is that legislators will spend all of that time in one chamber vs chamber hopping. To me, it moves the system more towards the professional legislature than the current model.

    6. Matt, you may be right (and thanks for alerting me to this) that this particular measure is OK as a stopgap, and perhaps I'll vote for it as such. I'm just reflexively against term limits, and even more so against anything that presents itself as a shortening of term limits. Twelve years is right about when legislators would be achieving useful seniority. And while this proposal is arguably better than 6+8, I would probably still rather have a state senator with 14 years total legislative experience than one with 12.

    7. Not a bad angle to take, Jeff. Really, I wish I had better data than impressionistic to evaluate which option would give us the "less" term-limited system.
      I know that the initial wave of folks hit by term limits did the "just jump to the other chamber" thing. My suspicion (backed up by no real data, but maybe I should look into this) is that, as folks have hit their limit in one chamber, a large number of them have looked at ALL their career options: mayor, Congress, going back home, AND the other chamber. If that's the case, then 12 beats 6+8. If it's relatively uncommon, then 6+8 beats 12.

  2. "And as always, it's a great patriotic feeling to get out there and vote, but really we do vote on too many things."

    When I vote I think of all of the liberals who lambaste low information voters as these liberals:
    1) guess vote
    2) choose total ignorance of high IQ conservative arguments
    3) don't believe that they are choosing to point guns at people
    4) are suffused with joy... are topping Maslow's hierarchy

    1. Obvious bait, but what the heck.....

      1) But they're educated guesses.

      2) I for one have spent a lot of time studying the arguments of highly articulate conservatives. Conclusion: They're still wrong.

      3) You should know better. Liberals do not "point guns." They keep the guns properly holstered with safety locks in place. Still, you'd be well advised to cooperate so nobody gets hurt.

      4) Maslow is for amateurs. What gives us moral authority is having achieved Lawrence Kohlberg's Stage 6:


    2. Re: 3) If my Daily Caller raffle submission works out, I hope to literally and directly put this into practice!


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