I was marking my sample ballot the other day, trying to remember if I'd ever heard of any of the judges before and seeing which of the propositions needs further examination. Most of the ballot measures, of course, are easily decided upon. Bond measures, contrary to popular belief, are not free money. They cost money. Lots of money. This state has no money. It's an automatic "no" vote, except for the veterans' home loan bonds which are an automatic "yes" vote because they are self-funding. That takes care of a good half of them. Then there are the ones put up by cranks. (E.g. the "let's pay everyone to buy electric cars" measure. !#$%&! loonies. Even if it wasn't a half-baked con job, as mentioned above, this state is broke.) And let's not even go into the $90 billion dollar L.A.-to-San Francisco train that'll cost every family in California $10,000 and save you $27 dollars on your trip to San Francisco, should you so far take leave of your senses as to want to go there. The trip will also take 2 hours longer than to fly. And, not to put too fine a point upon it, THIS STATE HAS NO MONEY.
The only other "yes" votes I can find are proposition 8, which reverses The Supremes and reserves marriage for the marriagable, proposition 4 which requires that parents at least be notified if their minor daughter obtains an abortion (although they still have to give permission if she gets her ears pierced or uses a tanning booth), proposition 9 that requires that victims be consulted before parole is granted to convicted criminals, and proposition 11 which takes redistricting in this egregiously gerrymandered state out of the hands of politicians. As the redoubtable Tom McClintock
puts it: "voters should choose their politicians and not the other way around."
But what to do about the "President" slot. If you take out the anti-life people, you're left with Senator McCain and Allen Keyes. The Constitution Party isn't on our ballot. The American Independent folks used to nominate the Constitution Party candidate as their own. But for some reason, this year they nominated Allen Keyes. A fine fellow in many ways, but a card-carrying neo-con. What would be the point of voting for him with John McCain on the ballot? If you want to vote for a neo-con, you might as well vote for one who has a chance in hell of winning.
I suppose I could write in either of my two long-time favourite write-in candidates: President Jefferson Davis or Governor Al Smith. Both Democrats, wouldn't you know, but both sound leaders. They do have the drawback of being dead and are unlikely to be counted. But still better than anyone else on the ballot.
But realistically, you know, this is California. This means that it doesn't make a blessed bit of difference who I vote for. The Democratic Party has this state so tightly sewn up that my vote for the presidency hardly even rises to the level of an irrelevancy. So I shall probably vote for Senator McCain. And for this reason only:
one more vote in Senator McCain's column will add, ever so slightly, to the annoyance of the Los Angeles Times. And that's the best that can be hoped for here in the lower left-hand corner of the United States in this year of Our Lord 2008.