Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Orwellian proposition 91

Jerry Stratton, December 26, 2007

It’s always bugged me a little that the official California election guides authorize an official “pro” and “con” argument for each proposition. Who gets to decide which arguments merit appearing in the official guide? Do they get to choose ineffective arguments for the side they don’t like? How do they decide which arguments even constitute “in favor of” and “against”?

You might think that common sense would at least cover the latter question, but you’d forget that this is a bureaucracy. For the February 5 2008 primary, proposition 91’s “argument in favor of” is “vote no on proposition 91”.

Apparently, between the time that the proposition qualified for the ballot, and the time that the argument was submitted, the official proponents made a deal with the legislature to oppose it.

I don’t know whether Proposition 91 should pass or not, but it seems to me that their argument should have at least been moved over to the “argument against” side of the sheet. As it stands, the “argument in favor” says “vote no” three times, and the “argument against” says “no argument against proposition 91 was submitted.”

It isn’t as if there aren’t people left who support the measure. A simple web search found support for proposition 91 from a group called Southern California Transit Advocates.

The bottom of the voter information guide says that “arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency”. Apparently they haven’t been checked for relevance either. California needs to get out of the business of choosing which viewpoints deserve a public airing, because that also means choosing which do not.

  1. <- Christmas bells
  2. Thompson v. Obama ->