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Author Topic: Referendum? (Referendi?)  (Read 2599 times)

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Offline TriesteTopic starter

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Referendum? (Referendi?)
« on: November 04, 2008, 08:09:11 AM »
The MA ballot amuses me quite a bit this year, so I thought I'd share what we had on it. I've been thinking about it quite a bit, but I didn't really want to post a discussion on it until after I voted, for personal reasons.

Question 1
Apparently other states have been hearing a lot about MA Question 1. While (I hear) many other states have placed their income tax up on the chopping block, the MA vote is important and getting a lot of attention because of the health care plan we enacted not long ago (There's an NPR article announcing it here if people want a jumping-off point for research - or a summary.) that requires every single citizen to have health care. This plan is supported by a massive state initiative to provide state-subsidized (or completely state-paid) health care for those who cannot afford it. And those people aren't getting just any health care plan, or the cheapest - the state has required standards of coverage.

So the state has taken on the massive burden of providing our low-income families with affordable health care (and our plan should sound familiar to those who have educated themselves about Obama's national plan; it's a whole lot like ours, enough that I wouldn't be surprised if he used MA as a model) and now are looking at losing billions annually.

I attend a state university, and benefit from services there (and financial aid) funded by the state. I voted no on this one.

Question 2
MA Question 2 was, essentially, on jailing potheads. It would remove criminal penalties from possession of less than an ounce of Miss Mary Jane and essentially make it like a speeding ticket. (Actually, I think speeding tickets might actually be heftier punishment, given MA insurance rates ... but that's neither here nor there.)

Blah blah blah, drug debate, I don't really want potheads filling up our jails and taking up taxpayer money, especially if Question 1 passes. I voted yes on this one.

Question 3
MA Question 3 is essentially outlawing dog racing. We have a couple good-size dog tracks in the state who employ quite a few people (in the thousands). My background on this is that my family adopts post-race greyhounds on a regular basis. I'm well familiar with the aftermath of this sport. On the other hand, I'm also familiar with the aftermath of being laid off, and I think enough people are experiencing that right now.

I went speciocentric on this one and voted no.



Did anyone else have any interesting questions on their ballots?

Offline Caeli

Re: Referendum? (Referendi?)
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2008, 08:25:26 AM »
I haven't voted yet today (polling places haven't opened yet), but we do have some interesting propositions on the CA ballot this year.

Proposition 8 eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry in California, and provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. This would overturn the a ruling made by the CA Supreme Court in May 2008, which overturned previously-voted-on Proposition 22 and recognized that marriage between individuals of the same sex was valid and recognized within CA.

Proposition 4 would prohibits abortion for unemancipated minors until 48 hours after the physician notifies an unemancipated minor's parent or legal guardian.


Needless to say, I feel very strongly about both issues. I'm very pissed off because somehow, my absentee ballot was lost in the mail, so I'm going to be voting provisional for this election. However, I will definitely be voting, once the polls open. *nods*

Offline Oniya

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Re: Referendum? (Referendi?)
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2008, 10:10:36 AM »
We have "Issue 6", which is to allow a casino to be opened in the state of Ohio.  The plus side is that it would bring '10,000' new jobs to the area, get the state a bunch of tax money from the casino, and stem the tendency of Ohioans to take their hard-earned money to neighboring states that have casinos.  The minus side is that the guy behind the push isn't particularly successful with his business.  So, yes, we'd get a casino, but it would likely get run into the ground and go under, leaving those 10,000 people looking for work again.

For a number of reasons, including the trivial one that it's too far away to encourage my mother-in-law to visit more often (you read that right - I adore my mother-in-law!), we voted 'No' on this one.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Referendum? (Referendi?)
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2008, 10:20:20 AM »
www.votesmartflorida.org/

Florida has six that made it to the ballot - can't our elected officials just do their jobs on many of these. (sigh)

I tended to vote against anything that would remove from the tax rolls money or could raise taxes locally.

Amendment 2 our NO GAY MARRIAGE thing also bans if it passes any similar to marriage mechanism such as civil unions so I voted NO on that crap its not necessary, disciminatory and such is already illegal in the law here.

I voted YES on six that is a fairness thing for me if a property owner has a small bait shop they can get taxed at a far higher rate than its actual use IF a large hotel could go there for example. I favor fairness and the actual use of the land is fair to me if there is a small hotel and makes X dollars then tax it as that sort of business.

The Community College local tax one was a tough one I voted no because these are not public schools and I don't want another option for taxes offered when its not vital. A community college can raise tuition or do other things to manage their finances after all and its not a public school so is not state mandated. If it was for optional trade schools run by the county or something I might have voted for it but not optional educational opportunities.


Offline ShrowdedPoet

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Re: Referendum? (Referendi?)
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2008, 04:15:21 PM »
We had something about allowing insane people and idiots to vote. . .I voted yes.

We also had something for a scholarship lottary. . .I voted yes.

Then we had the disallowing unmarried and same sex couples adopting children. . .I voted no.  That one really pisses me off!  They could offer the same love and support that a married same sex couple could offer!  *growls*

Offline Valerian

Re: Referendum? (Referendi?)
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2008, 04:26:46 PM »
We had just one, and it was extremely brief:

"Shall the next State Legislature enact health care coverage reform legislation by December 31, 2009 that guarantees every Wisconsin resident affordable health care coverage with benefits that are substantially similar to those to state legislators?"

That one was started (I believe) by a state congressman who is also a medical doctor and has always used health care as a cornerstone of his campaign.  He made a dramatic statement about refusing the health coverage offered to elected officials until all his constituents could have the same coverage -- not much of a gesture considering he's a millionaire several times over and hardly needs health insurance anyway, but it's made him popular, all right.

I voted against it, because it's so vague -- no one has yet come up with any ideas as to how to fund this program, exactly what 'affordable' means, etc.  And it's obviously worded to try for a 'yes' answer, and that made me feel rebellious.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Referendum? (Referendi?)
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2008, 04:35:36 PM »
I'm really not sold on the idea of Universal health care being more expensive... Millions of bankruptcies each year has to amount to hundreds of billions of dollars that gets driven back into normal healthcare system costs.

There were two school funding increases here (I voted yes on each), and a 'preserve Minnesota's wildlife and resources' fund, which was very suspiciously worded and required a sales tax increase (which I call the 'rape the economy' tax), so I voted against it.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Referendum? (Referendi?)
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2008, 04:38:10 PM »
We had something about allowing insane people and idiots to vote. . .I voted yes.

Well, they do already, don't they? *glances down the street at the neighbors*

Quote
We also had something for a scholarship lottary. . .I voted yes.

Then we had the disallowing unmarried and same sex couples adopting children. . .I voted no.  That one really pisses me off!  They could offer the same love and support that a married same sex couple could offer!  *growls*

I might be a little worried about non-committed couples adopting, but if they've been together for X number of years (i.e. something like common-law), I'd go along with it.  As for the other part, I'm kind of biased since my nephew has two mommies (one biological though, so adoption doesn't come into it).

Offline TriesteTopic starter

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Re: Referendum? (Referendi?)
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2008, 07:29:19 PM »
Looks like MA just decriminalized weed and banned dog racing, but kept the income tax.

2 out of 3 going my way ain't bad. :)

Offline ShrowdedPoet

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Re: Referendum? (Referendi?)
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2008, 09:38:29 AM »
Well, looks like everything went my way except for the adoption one.  That one passed. . .DAMN!!

Offline Oniya

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Re: Referendum? (Referendi?)
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2008, 10:06:24 AM »
The casino was voted down, and a higher regulation on 'payday lenders' was passed.  They're now limited to charging 28% APR, and can only give out 4 loans to a person over the course of a year.  I've never been tempted to use one myself, simply because they seemed predatory to begin with - if you need to borrow a week/pay period in advance, what are you intending to live on when you pay them back - with interest!

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Referendum? (Referendi?)
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2008, 04:50:26 PM »
Its official in Florida no homosexuals can marry, and Civil Unions the second option most use may be illegal. You can thank the conservative Christians for passing this one the exit polls were pretty damned clear on that.

Offline TriesteTopic starter

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Re: Referendum? (Referendi?)
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2008, 05:07:23 PM »
Its official in Florida no homosexuals can marry, and Civil Unions the second option most use may be illegal. You can thank the conservative Christians for passing this one the exit polls were pretty damned clear on that.

There were not enough conservative Christians in FL to give McCain their electoral votes, so I suspect that mainly, you can just blame the general population of Florida.

Offline Cecily

Re: Referendum? (Referendi?)
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2008, 05:31:06 PM »
There were not enough conservative Christians in FL to give McCain their electoral votes, so I suspect that mainly, you can just blame the general population of Florida.

I'm pretty sure similar bills passed in California and Arizona as well, it's rather upsetting that things are moving backwards in that respect. :|

I also thought it was really disgusting that Arkansaw outlawed homosexuals from adopting children.

Offline Moondazed

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Re: Referendum? (Referendi?)
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2008, 05:37:03 PM »
I think you can blame the fear-mongering of those who see any change as negative and scary.  You're right, Arabella, it did pass in CA and AZ too :(

Offline Cecily

Re: Referendum? (Referendi?)
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2008, 05:42:35 PM »
I think you can blame the fear-mongering of those who see any change as negative and scary.  You're right, Arabella, it did pass in CA and AZ too :(

I don't even live in the US, but seeing it happening in a country just south of me is pretty scary. : /

I think I was too hopeful that Obama would win, the democrats would pick up a ton more house/senate seats, and that all those anti-gay bills would fail. While two out of three of those things happened, it's still quite disappointing.

Offline TriesteTopic starter

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Re: Referendum? (Referendi?)
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2008, 06:22:30 PM »
CA has been going back and forth on the issue for about a decade, and will eventually make up their minds, maybe. Someday. The thing is, the majority of people disagree with this in their respective states, and who is anyone else to tell them differently? If the majority of people are not ready for this change, trying to force it on them will only do the opposite of what we want it to do.

Just like interracial marriage or open paganism, the scandal will die out as the generations progress.

Offline Cecily

Re: Referendum? (Referendi?)
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2008, 06:39:36 PM »
CA has been going back and forth on the issue for about a decade, and will eventually make up their minds, maybe. Someday. The thing is, the majority of people disagree with this in their respective states, and who is anyone else to tell them differently? If the majority of people are not ready for this change, trying to force it on them will only do the opposite of what we want it to do.

Just like interracial marriage or open paganism, the scandal will die out as the generations progress.

Hopefully they don't make up their minds and stay against it, then.

I honestly think that voting on issues is fine -- if the majority of the people vote on a bill, then obviously it should pass... but when it comes to things like gay marriage it just really ticks me off. I don't see how allowing gay marriage in a state negatively effects anyone. If they don't want to get married to the person of the same sex, then fine, they don't have to marry them. -Takes a deep breath and ends rant-

I do understand what you mean, though... if the ban still got the majority of the votes for it and it wasn't put into action people would go ballistic. I just wish that it wouldn't have passed in the first place. :P

Offline TriesteTopic starter

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Re: Referendum? (Referendi?)
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2008, 07:12:57 PM »
Hopefully they don't make up their minds and stay against it, then.

Whether they did or didn't, that's somewhat the point of the vote. I suspect it will not remain illegal, but I also suspect that Californians secretly enjoy the bickering ... it reminds me of NYCers complaining about traffic.

I honestly think that voting on issues is fine -- if the majority of the people vote on a bill, then obviously it should pass... but when it comes to things like gay marriage it just really ticks me off. I don't see how allowing gay marriage in a state negatively effects anyone. If they don't want to get married to the person of the same sex, then fine, they don't have to marry them. -Takes a deep breath and ends rant-

So it's okay for them to vote on it as long as they agree with you? That's awfully silly. :P I know that may not be what you're intending to say, but that's the essential message I'm getting, here. The thing is, who is married to whom doesn't actually affect the state that much at all; allow or disallow, there's very little benefit or detriment (money from marriage licenses, maybe...). Some say it shouldn't be a legal issue at all.

But states' rights are sacrosanct (or should be), and that includes the right to ban abortion, same-sex marriage, and also can-can dancing on the fourth of July. It is their right as a state... and frankly, I think the decision based on popular vote from yesterday holds more weight than the previous decision, which was made by a court. Popular vote will always hold more weight with me, because it gives us a chance to see what the voting population thinks about an issue.

If the non-voting population doesn't like it, I suggest they vote next time.

Although, before you start to feel too much despair on behalf of poor ol' CA, AZ and FL, I suggest you take a look at the map of states that outlawed interracial marriage not all that long ago. Interracial marriage has only been legal for about 40 years in all states. I believe it's a matter of patience for same-sex couples. Patience and education.

Offline Cecily

Re: Referendum? (Referendi?)
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2008, 07:25:16 PM »
So it's okay for them to vote on it as long as they agree with you? That's awfully silly. :P

That's not really what I meant. I just don't think it's right for anyone to disallow two consenting adults from marriage.

The thing is, who is married to whom doesn't actually affect the state that much at all; allow or disallow, there's very little benefit or detriment (money from marriage licenses, maybe...). Some say it shouldn't be a legal issue at all.


That was basically what I was trying to say. :)

Offline Moondazed

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Re: Referendum? (Referendi?)
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2008, 07:33:37 PM »
Actually some people think the added expense of more people having access to insurance plans, etc., is a bad thing too.  That's pretty silly imo, but I thought I'd throw it out there since I've heard it from more than one person.

Offline TriesteTopic starter

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Re: Referendum? (Referendi?)
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2008, 07:37:33 PM »
That's not really what I meant. I just don't think it's right for anyone to disallow two consenting adults from marriage.

That was basically what I was trying to say. :)

There's actually a really nifty post around that I'm trying to find that outlines this stuff really nicely. I'm trying to run it down now.