Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Post-Election Thoughts Ballot Measures edition

I do not have much to say about this election that everyone everywhere has not read somewhere else.  So here are my thoughts and results on a handful of ballot measures.


Nothing huge went on in this state according to the National News websites that tracked ballot measures.  But as a former resident I can tell you there were a few ballots that I found to be majorly important.

Proposal 1:

This was an amendment to continue and guide the Emergency Management program that Governor Rick Snyder started.  What that was was if a city or school institution was having major finance issues, the Governor would appoint an Emergency Manager who had the power to override the elected officials.  Michigan voted to get rid of this.  Any one who loves democracy can probably see why they did.

Proposal 3

This would have put an initiative into place that would have required 25% of all of Michigan's electricity to come from renewable resources.  If it had passed it would have increased jobs and seen competition in the energy field. (Look at your electrical bills and how they keep jumping. This is what no competition does).  This failed due to scare tactics.

Proposal 5

I am shocked that this one failed.  It would have required a 2/3rd vote of the Michigan Legislature whenever they wished to raise taxes.  I am very happy that this has failed but am very shocked it had.  People tend to love restricting tax increases.

Speaking of Tax Increases

Governor Jerry Brown's idea in California, Proposition 30, passed.  This will be a major tax.  It increases taxes on those who make 250K and up (On some of them this will be a MAJOR increase) and also increases the sales tax.  It will be effective January 1st, 2012.  Yes. 2012.  It is retroactively in effect.

Also in California

Sadly California voted to continue the Death Penalty by a large margin.  It does not work and it costs too much, but voters do like revenge rather than rehabilitation.

Health Care

This was a theme in many conservative states.  There were ballot issues to limit how the Affordable Care Act can be implemented in these states.  In Alabama, Montana and Wyoming they voted to limit the act.  Florida voted to not limit it.

Florida also voted against limiting the use of public funds for abortion purposes.  They want to keep their health care options open it seems.

Gay Marriage

Never before had gay marriage won at the polls.  And last night it won in the 4 states it was up.  Maine, Maryland (!) and Washington State all voted for gay marriage.  And Minnesota voted to reject the anti-gay marriage amendment before them.  Awesome News


There were two different types of Marijuana legalization initiatives on ballots this year.  In Arkansas, Massachusetts and Montana they were voting to allow it for medicinal purposes.  Arkansas said no, Montana and Massachusetts said yes.

In Colorado, Oregon and Washington State they were voting to legalize marijuana period.  Colorado and Washington State voted yes, Oregon said no.


Puerto Ricans have voted that they wish to be the 51st state in the Union.  Only 5% wished for independence.  This is a step in the direction of statehood.  According to the Constitution it is under Congress' control whether this happens or not.  But in the past Congress would direct that territory to hold a constitutional convention to write a state constitution. And upon acceptance of that constitution Congress would admit them.

In the 19th century new states were dependent on their attitudes on slavery.  In the 21st century I am almost certain it bets on political party affiliation.  Puerto Rico votes Democratic.  And I do not see the Republican Party allowing two new Democratic Senators and However-Many (1?) Democratic House Members.

On the other hand, if that party is thinking, this would be a chance.  This past election has shown them they cannot rely on Old White Folks any longer.  If the Republican Party starts to push for Puerto Rican statehood and lets up on some of the anti-immigrant stances they are known to take they could start to make inroads into the Latino population.  A population that the Republican Party fantasizes it has every election, and every election proves them wrong.

They will probably not do this as it requires long-term thinking.  And politicians, of any stripe, hate long term thinking.

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