Tuesday, November 4, 2008

PROPOSITIONAL INTRIGUE

While all eyes will certainly be on the race for the White House, their are some very interesting propositions on state ballots across the country, which could explain the record turnouts many states are experiencing, and straining to control.
California has two propositions with nationwide attention, one involving same-sex marriages, which are currently legal since a state Supreme Court decision in May and thousands of gay and lesbian couples already wed. Florida and Arizona also have constitutional amendments on their ballots that would limit marriage to a man and a woman. More than two-dozen states have previously approved such amendments.
San Francisco has proposition K, which will decriminalize prostitution. An Oregon initiative would tie any merit pay for teachers to "classroom performance." Colorado and Nebraska have proposals that would ban race-and gender-based affirmative action, similar to measures previously approved in California, Michigan and Washington.
In Washington, voters will decide whether to join Oregon as the only states offering terminally ill people the option of physician-assisted suicide. Massachusetts has three distinctive measures on its ballot — to ban dog racing, ease marijuana laws and scrap the state income tax, a step that could unleash budgetary tumult.
Of course, the true hot button issue is abortion. California, a very liberal state, votes on whether to require a 48-hour waiting period and parental notification before a minor’s abortion. Much to the opposite of California, Colorado has a "person hood" amendment on its ballot that would define human life as beginning at fertilization. A South Dakota initiative would outlaw abortions but includes exceptions for rape, incest and pregnancies that threaten a woman's health.
An interesting potpourri of issues out there. One state wants to legalize assisted suicides, one wants to allow minors to have abortions without the knowledge of their parents, and at the same time, two move forward to ban abortion altogether. In other states, propositions seek to allow gambling casinos, decriminalized prostitution and the easing of marijuana penalties. Oregon wants to tie performance based merit increases for their educators, and has another proposition to limit teaching of students in languages other than English to no more than two years in Oregon.
Just looking at the nation's statewide propositions underscores what we already know, this nation has become a red / blue nation, a strict dichotomy of people and beliefs, not the least of which are our moralistic views on allowing any governmental influence on our individual rights and behaviors.

4 comments:

socal said...

Kimba
Happy Birthday tomorrow; let's do lunch later this week. Call me.

socal said...

Kimba
Happy Birthday tomorrow; let's do lunch later this week. Call me.

Jennifer said...

All day long I've been thinking, "I know someone who has a birthday today," but I couldn't think who. So glad I checked the blog.

By the way, did you see the hologram thing on CNN during the election returns? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xguu48_bShk) As soon as I saw this, all the touch screen maps and other high tech do-dads on the other channels suddenly seemed so yesterday! I almost stopped caring who was winning - I just wanted to see more holograms! It doesn't look as good on YouTube as it did on TV, but you get the idea. For a sci fi fan like me, this is way cool!

Jennifer said...

Oh, and happy birthday, Kimba!