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Author Topic: Nationwide Ballot Proposals Discussion Center
Lyrhawn
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First off, I know there are already two threads on different proposals, and I know that I started one of them, so sorry if a third seems too much, but there are a lot of other interesting proposals out there that aren't getting the attention that California's Prop 8 is, and I thought a list and short summary of each would be interesting, especially for some of you that may live in these states but don't know about them. So I hope you'll indulge me in this thread.

This isn't every ballot proposal or initiative from every state. I picked some of the more hot button ones, and ones that looked interesting to me personally (which may not appeal to you, but I'm weird). I left off some of the more common stuff like local issues, casinos(lots of those) and an odd number of new laws that deal with PayDay Loans (where you get money before you get your paycheck but at an outrageous interest rate). I may or may not be around on election night to keep up with them in the same way I did with the Midterms. I’d like to be, but a friend invited me to an election night party, so I’m a little split on being with my computer, or being in a bar with lots of very happy liberals. [Smile] Anyway, I’m getting most of my information from ncsl.org, it’s the National Conference of State Legislatures, and they have a very handy searchable database for all state ballot initiatives on a state by state level, separated by category and year, which is pretty handy. If a state is left out, it’s either because they don’t really have anything super interesting going on, or because they don’t have anything at all going on. There are about 20 states that I'll be listing, half now, and half later, as I don't want this post to be too monstrous, and I want it to be a little more easily digestible.

Arizona

quote:
Prop 101
Proposition 101 would amend the Arizona Constitution to provide that no law shall:

1. Restrict a person's freedom to choose a private health care plan or system of their choice.
2. Interfere with a person's or entity's right to pay directly for lawful medical services.
3. Impose a penalty or fine, of any type, for choosing to obtain or decline health care coverage.
4. Impose a penalty or fine, of any type, for participation in any particular health care system or plan.

Here’s what I’m wondering about 101. Is this supposed to be a pre-emptive attack on a national single payer system? Everyone must know by now that Obama is suggesting there be penalties for not paying into the system. The first part seems to not address that since Obama has always said you can choose your own plan, but 3 and 4 would seem to address that. Maybe Dag can answer this for me, but can state constitutional law overrule federal law? If not, then I wonder what they are trying to protect against specifically.

quote:
Prop 102
“Proposition 102 would amend the Arizona Constitution to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state.”

This same measure failed in 2006 if you remember with 48.2% supporting the measure and 51.8% opposing. Kerry lost Arizona by 10 points, but Obama is expected to contest the state to the low single digits, despite the fact that it’s McCain’s home state. If you figure that generally most Democratic supporters will be against this and most Republicans for it, and then take into account the 2004 vote, I’d have to say it’ll fail again this time around, but we’ll see. Lots of crossover voting is going to happen, along with a surge in overall voting that’s hard to guess at beforehand. This is one of many statewide ballot proposals to ban gay marriage.

Arkansas

quote:
Prop 1 (paraphrased to leave out the unimportant bits)
Repeals the requirement that the right to vote shall not be made to depend on any previous registration of an elector's name.

Repeals Article 3, Section 5 of the Arkansas Constitution providing that no idiot or insane person shall be entitled to the privileges of an elector.

I’m going to assume that that first bit would legalize same day registration, which I like. And I seriously didn’t believe that Arkansas’ state constitution actually banned idiots from voting (I mean, wouldn’t that invalidate all the Republican votes there? Just kidding!) but I looked it up and plain as day there it is. I think that’s probably a good change.

quote:
Proposed Initiative 1
A proposed act providing that a minor may not be adopted or placed in a foster home if the individual seeking to adopt or to serve as a foster parent is cohabiting with a sexual partner outside of a marriage which is valid under the constitution and laws of this state; stating that the foregoing prohibition applies equally to cohabiting opposite-sex and same-sex individuals; stating that the act will not affect the guardianship of minors; defining "minor" to mean an individual under the age of eighteen (18) years; stating that the public policy of the state is to favor marriage, as defined by the constitution and laws of this state, over unmarried cohabitation with regard to adoption and foster care; finding and declaring on behalf of the people of the state that it is in the best interest of children in need of adoption or foster care to be reared in homes in which adoptive or foster parents are not cohabiting outside of marriage; providing that the Director of the Department of Human Services shall promulgate regulations consistent with the act; and providing that the act applies prospectively

This would seem to make near impossible for anyone to adopt unless they are married. I wonder what the numbers are on single people or cohabitating unmarried wanting to adopt and what the shortage of adopters looking for kids is in Arkansas.

California

These are really long, so I’m going to very briefly summarize a couple of them:

  • Prop 1A – A proposal to approve a $9.95 billion measure for the construction of a high speed rail line in California.
  • Prop 4 – Parental notification for a minor having an abortion. There are a number of exemptions and definitions within the act if you want to look it up.
  • Prop 5 – Reduces sentencing on non-violent drug offenders and increases focus on rehabilitation programs
  • Prop 7 – Newer, stricter, higher requirements and provisions for mandatory levels of renewable energy production
  • Prop 8 – Ban on gay marriage

Colorado

quote:
Amendment 48
Amendment 48 proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to:
- define the term "person" to "include any human being from the moment of fertilization"; and
- apply this definition of person to the sections of the Colorado Constitution that protect the natural and essential rights of persons, allow open access to courts for every person, and ensure that no person has his or her life, liberty, or property taken away without due process of law.

They also have a measure that has something to do with alcohol consumption, but there are no details on it yet. I assume 48 is specifically intended for the purposes of abortion. But I’m not sure what effect if any that’ll have on federal law, unless they are just gearing up for the day Roe is overturned.

Connecticut

quote:
HJ 21
Measure to allow citizens who would be 18 on election day to vote when they are 17 in the primaries.

Florida

quote:
Amendment 2
This amendment protects marriage as the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and provides that no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.

Hawaii

quote:
Constitutional Amendment
Should the age requirement for governor and lieutenant governor be lowered from 30 years of age to 25 years of age?

Iowa

quote:
Constitutional Amendment Question
Changes the language that describes a person who cannot legally vote from "idiot or insane person" to "a person adjudged mentally incompetent to vote."

What’s up with the Midwest having some sort of specific vendetta against idiots? First Arkansas and now Iowa?

Maryland

quote:
Question 1
Amends Section 1 and Section 3 of Article I - Elective Franchise - of the Maryland Constitution to authorize the enactment of legislation to: (1) allow any qualified voter who chooses to do so to vote by absentee ballot; and (2) allow qualified voters to vote at polling places in or outside the voters' election districts or wards or, during the two weeks immediately preceding an election, on no more than 10 other days prior to election day.

In other words, like many other states, there would be absentee ballots provided without having to state a reason, and polling sites would be set up 10 days before the election for in person ahead of time voting. I hope this one passes.

Massachusetts

quote:
[b] This proposed law would replace the criminal penalties for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana with a new system of civil penalties, to be enforced by issuing citations, and would exclude information regarding this civil offense from the state's criminal record information system. Offenders age 18 or older would be subject to forfeiture of the marijuana plus a civil penalty of $100. Offenders under the age of 18 would be subject to the same forfeiture and, if they complete a drug awareness program within one year of the offense, the same $100 penalty.
Illinois, Hawaii and Connecticut all have to decide whether or not to have a constitutional convention to revise or amend their state constitutions.

That takes us through Massachusetts, and leaves 10 states for me to go through. I’ll do that in a couple days after people digest what’s already here.

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TomDavidson
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Note: there is an official criteria for "idiot." And since when is Arkansas the Midwest? [Smile]
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Mucus
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Hmmm, 3 bans on gay marriage, and the Arkansas proposal would probably be none too fond of same-sex partners adopting either.
Americans are pretty interested in this gay thing.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
California
  • Prop 1A – A proposal to approve a $9.95 billion measure for the construction of a high speed rail line in California.
  • Prop 4 – Parental notification for a minor having an abortion. There are a number of exemptions and definitions within the act if you want to look it up.
  • Prop 5 – Reduces sentencing on non-violent drug offenders and increases focus on rehabilitation programs
  • Prop 7 – Newer, stricter, higher requirements and provisions for mandatory levels of renewable energy production

I've read a lot about 1A and am currently leaning towards a yes. I have mixed feelings on 4. I think I'm for 5 but want to read through the arguments more carefully.
7 is BAD. It's so bad that both parties are against it. (Good theory; horrible details -- gee, must be a California proposition. [Razz] )

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Christine
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At least the Arizona anti-gay law only bans marriage. The one that passed here in Kansas a few years ago and the others that I see listed here also go after any union at all. That's where I take offense. I'd be willing to compromise on not calling it marriage. (Although technically I don't think the government should do that at all.) Sigh...it's going to be a long road back from this.

quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Colorado

quote:
Amendment 48
Amendment 48 proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to:
- define the term "person" to "include any human being from the moment of fertilization"; and
- apply this definition of person to the sections of the Colorado Constitution that protect the natural and essential rights of persons, allow open access to courts for every person, and ensure that no person has his or her life, liberty, or property taken away without due process of law.


Can they do that?

I'm not up on my legalize here. I'm not sure what state can do vs what the feds can do. But this does sound like a pretty effective anti-abortion tactic.

More to the point, how do you do that? How do you know who is pregnant? Heck, a lot of women miscarry without ever knowing they were. This opens the door to outlawing certain types of birth control that can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting, from requiring a pregnancy test before certain medications are administered. I certainly never had to tell anyone I was pregnant until they day my kids came out. In my case, I could have even gotten away with wearing bigger clothes and telling people I was overeating. [Smile]

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Selran
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I always vote NO on all props. Laws should be made by our elected representatives, not some nut job harassing people outside of a Ralph's.
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katharina
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I agree, except for changes to a constitution. That should definitely be up to the people as well as the legislature. I don't want Congress voting by itself to change the Constitution.
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The Pixiest
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quote:

Arkansas
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Proposed Initiative 1
A proposed act providing that a minor may not be adopted or placed in a foster home if the individual seeking to adopt or to serve as a foster parent is cohabiting with a sexual partner outside of a marriage which is valid under the constitution and laws of this state; stating that the foregoing prohibition applies equally to cohabiting opposite-sex and same-sex individuals; stating that the act will not affect the guardianship of minors; defining "minor" to mean an individual under the age of eighteen (18) years; stating that the public policy of the state is to favor marriage, as defined by the constitution and laws of this state, over unmarried cohabitation with regard to adoption and foster care; finding and declaring on behalf of the people of the state that it is in the best interest of children in need of adoption or foster care to be reared in homes in which adoptive or foster parents are not cohabiting outside of marriage; providing that the Director of the Department of Human Services shall promulgate regulations consistent with the act; and providing that the act applies prospectively
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This would seem to make near impossible for anyone to adopt unless they are married. I wonder what the numbers are on single people or cohabitating unmarried wanting to adopt and what the shortage of adopters looking for kids is in Arkansas.

The legal ban on gay foster parenting was struck down by the court in Arkansas. This is *specifically* to keep gay people from adopting or fostering children. The people behind it say that it's a shame it will catch unmarried heterosexuals too, but they're just that gung ho to keep kids away from gays.

And this, my friends, is the kind of crap that made me leave my home state forever... even though I miss it.

On a side note, another advert by the pro prop 8 people at the bottom of the page... that means I give another dollar to the Human Rights Campaign!

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Selran
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
I agree, except for changes to a constitution. That should definitely be up to the people as well as the legislature. I don't want Congress voting by itself to change the Constitution.

That was an "internet always." Meaning it's an over generalization subject to numerous exceptions.
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ketchupqueen
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Prop 5 is another one that is badly executed. I was so confused by some of the provisions that I voted "no"-- that's my default, if I can't understand it or it seems designed to trick me into something I didn't know I was doing, vote to maintain the status quo.
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Derrell
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Arizona prop 105 If it passes, not voting for a proposition would be counted as a yes vote;. [Wall Bash]
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ketchupqueen
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quote:
Originally posted by Derrell:
Arizona prop 105 If it passes, not voting for a proposition would be counted as a yes vote;. [Wall Bash]

That sounds idiotic and illegal.
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James Tiberius Kirk
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Voted YES on Maryland's early voting proposal.

Maryland also has a slots proposition (voted NO) and a zoning law one (didn't vote -- didn't understand it).

--j_k

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Derrell
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I wonder if it would pass a legal challenge? It's extremely idiotic.
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Risuena
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The Maryland zoning law may be specific to your jurisdiction, because I haven't heard anything about it and none of the sample ballots or other things I've seen for my area (Frederick) mention anything about it.

I'll be voting yes on the early voting proposal and I'll be voting against the slots. That, I think unfortunately is a losing battle, particularly since the language on the ballot is disingenuous. I'm not necessarily against slots, but I think this proposal is terrible and overly optimistic about the perceived benefits of slots.

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Dagonee
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quote:
Maybe Dag can answer this for me, but can state constitutional law overrule federal law? If not, then I wonder what they are trying to protect against specifically.
A state constitution cannot trump a constitutional federal law. However, the federal government is limited in its ability to force state officials to perform specific acts. Such an amendment may (this is an incredibly imprecise area of constitutional law) make it hard for the federal government to use the states to administer certain aspect of the plan. Way too little information to comment on the amendment's actual effects.

It may just be a preemptive strike against a Massachusetts-like plan.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Selran:
I always vote NO on all props. Laws should be made by our elected representatives, not some nut job harassing people outside of a Ralph's.

In California, a significant fraction of the propositions are placed on the ballot BY the state legislature. There have also been several that I strongly approve of that have made it on the ballot through more grassroots means.

Anyway, I disagree with your description of the process. [Razz]

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Lyrhawn
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Michigan

quote:
Prop 1 – Medical Marijuana
The proposed law would:
- Permit use of marijuana by registered patients with debilitating medical conditions including cancer, glaucoma, HIV, hepatitis C, epilepsy and MS.
- Permit registered individuals to grow marijuana for qualifying patients in an enclosed, locked facility.
- Require Department of Community Health to establish a registry system for patients qualified to use marijuana and individuals qualified to grow marijuana.
- Require Department of Community Health to establish a procedure for considering the expansion of medical conditions which can be treated with medical marijuana.
- Permit unregistered patients and primary caregivers to assert medical reasons for using marijuana as a defense to any prosecution involving marijuana.

Minnesota

quote:
HF2285 –Dedicated Funding for Natural Resources and the Arts
Dedicates a new 3/8 of one percent sales tax for a 25-year period to the following purposes:
- 33 percent to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands, prairies, forests, and habitat for fish, game, and wildlife;
- 33 percent to protect, enhance, and restore water quality in lakes, rivers, and streams and to protect groundwater from degradation (at least five percent of the this amount must be spent only to protect drinking water sources);
- 14.25 percent to support the state's parks and trails; and
- 19.75 percent for the arts and cultural heritage purposes.

I think this is pretty cool. Funding for the arts is cool, but sort of arbitrary in that it depends on who thinks what is art and deserving of funding. But the automatic support for natural resources is great.

Missouri

quote:
Constitutional Amendment 1: English as the official language

Proposition C: A "yes" vote will amend Missouri law to require investor-owned electric utilities to generate or purchase electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, biomass (including ethanol) and hydropower. The required renewable energy sources must equal the following percentages of retail sales:

-- 2% by 2011
-- 5% by 2014
-- 10% by 2018
-- 15% by 2021.

Nebraska

quote:
Constitutional amendment to ban Affirmative Action
Three more after this and that's it.
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AvidReader
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You missed my favorite in Florida. Let me help.

Florida

quote:
Amendment 1
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to delete provisions authorizing the Legislature to regulate or prohibit the ownership, inheritance, disposition, and possession of real property by aliens ineligible for citizenship.

Since I'm all for illegal immigration and would gladly trade Mexico a few of our welfare-scaming Bubbas to keep the hard working new arrivals (if I actually thought Mexico would be stupid enough to take our waste), I'll be voting for that one.

I don't expect it to pass, however.

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Lyrhawn
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I support the bill too, though I'm curious as to whether or not there are currently laws in Florida that restrict ownership of property by illegal aliens, and if there are, how are they enforced? Presumably, if an illegal alien is caught owning property, it wouldn't just be taken away, the person would be deported. I guess I'm wondering what the point of such a law would be when anyone caught would have been deported regardless of the law.

Either that or would they make everyone prove they are a citizen before they are allowed to buy anything?

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dkw
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It's possible to be ineligible for citizenship but still be here legally. In fact, IIRC no immigrants are eligible for citizenship until they've been here for several years. Can they own no property in the meantime?

That's a very, very poorly worded proposal.

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Teshi
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I love how you all get to vote on random stuff like this. It turns voting into a totally epic decision. Gay marriage? Abortion? Railway lines? Idiots? Aliens? Anything goes.

Who decides what goes on the ballot and what just gets done by legislators or is about whether there's a ballot within a given time?

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Selran
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quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
I love how you all get to vote on random stuff like this. It turns voting into a totally epic decision. Gay marriage? Abortion? Railway lines? Idiots? Aliens? Anything goes.

Who decides what goes on the ballot and what just gets done by legislators or is about whether there's a ballot within a given time?

That will depend on where you are. In CA, props/measures can be on the ballot for a few different reasons. County level taxes need to be enacted by direct vote. The same is true for amendments to the constitution, regardless of whether they originate by voter initiative or legislative action. Voter initiatives, these are the crazy people outside Ralph's [Wink] ,go on the ballot if they gather enough signatures. Lastly, referendums, which are laws already on the books people are trying to get rid of, go on if they get enough signatures.

That's my incomplete and imperfect understanding of it at least.

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Lyrhawn
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That's pretty much how it works here too. I think it works nearly the same way in all states, the only real difference all over the place is how many signatures are needed to get various initiatives on the ballot. A lot of places, to get constitutional amendments on the ballot, you have to spread the signatures out amongst the state legislative districts, you can't just load it up from one district that leans a certain way.

Frankly I don't see the point. The whole state still has to vote on it, but whatever.

Both the measures on our ballot this year got there via a signature campaign.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
It's possible to be ineligible for citizenship but still be here legally. In fact, IIRC no immigrants are eligible for citizenship until they've been here for several years. Can they own no property in the meantime?

That's a very, very poorly worded proposal.

Isn't it actually undoing the poorly worded things?
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Mucus
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Thats sounds odd (the original provisions). AFAIK, you don't actually need to be a citizen of the United States to own property in Florida. Many Canadian retirees retire there and buy houses.

So you have this odd situation where people who have no intention of becoming citizens can own property but illegal immigrants cannot (and yet presumably if they leave back home before they get caught, they can own property just like any other foreigner).

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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
It's possible to be ineligible for citizenship but still be here legally. In fact, IIRC no immigrants are eligible for citizenship until they've been here for several years. Can they own no property in the meantime?

That's a very, very poorly worded proposal.

Isn't it actually undoing the poorly worded things?
Oops, I meant the thing that they were removing. So not the proposal, the provision.
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Dagonee
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Well, the provision didn't actually do anything - it authorized the legislature to do something. Wording on a constitutional provision is typically less precise than an implementing law would be.

I don't think they're common in America, but restrictions on foreigners - even foreigners in the country legally - owning real estate are not uncommon in other countries. That's not a commentary on the desirability of such regulations.

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Mucus
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To clarify, it is not the restrictions on foreigners that I find odd (although, I too do not believe that they are common). Rather, it is the disparity between the restrictions on illegal immigrants and tourists/long term visitors that I find odd and open to subversion.
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Darth_Mauve
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quote:
From Arkansa:

Proposed Initiative 1
A proposed act providing that a minor may not be adopted or placed in a foster home if the individual seeking to adopt or to serve as a foster parent is cohabiting with a sexual partner outside of a marriage which is valid under the constitution and laws of this state; stating that the foregoing prohibition applies equally to cohabiting opposite-sex and same-sex individuals; stating that the act will not affect the guardianship of minors; defining "minor" to mean an individual under the age of eighteen (18) years; stating that the public policy of the state is to favor marriage, as defined by the constitution and laws of this state, over unmarried cohabitation with regard to adoption and foster care; finding and declaring on behalf of the people of the state that it is in the best interest of children in need of adoption or foster care to be reared in homes in which adoptive or foster parents are not cohabiting outside of marriage; providing that the Director of the Department of Human Services shall promulgate regulations consistent with the act; and providing that the act applies prospectively

One of the main themes against legalizing gay marriage is the slippery slope. If we let them get married then....Churches forced to officiate, Churches sued, Polygamy, Bestiality, another category 5 hurricane. There are many of these arguments that all wrap around one theme--while Gay Marriage may seem harmless, its just the first step in a long road to destruction and chaos, especially for the faithful.

Now we get a bit of proof that slopes go both ways. The slipper slope if we ban gay marriages could lead to things like this--Only Married Couples are allowed to adopt or become foster parents.

What about the kids waiting for adoption?

What about the kids waiting for foster care?

Institutionalize them? Orphanages? Prisons?

The backers don't care about the kids except in caring that they are not influenced by the homosexual agenda.

And where else could this slope lead? What of Gay couples that have kids naturally? What of Gay couples that adopt in another state? Will the next step be taking those kids away? If only married people can have kids what of single mothers? Will parents be forced to stay with abusive, destructive, or dangerous partners or risk the state taking the children out of any single family home that may occur from a divorce?

If one parent dies will the other one soon be forced to ship their kids off to a state approved child raising institution less the Single Parent danger spread?

None of this is, of course, in the proposition. But isn't the slope just as steep on this side of the hill as the other?

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zgator
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For Amendment 1 in Florida, all it is intended to do is remove something that has been in the Constitution since the early 1900's, but no legislation was ever enacted. It was intended to stop immigrants from owning property and I believe started out in California. Many states had something similar, but have already removed them. Unfortunately, polls right now show that it probably won't pass.
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BlackBlade
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I could have sworn Massachussetts has a ballot proposal eliminating the state income tax by half next year and totally by 2010. I believe it's called, "Question 1." A similar initiative almost passed in 2002 and proponents spent only $5,000 promoting it, millions are being spent on it this year.

Personally I think it's a terrible idea.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Question 1

This proposed law would reduce the state personal income tax rate to 2.65% for all categories of taxable income for the tax year beginning on or after January 1, 2009, and would eliminate the tax for all tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2010.

The personal income tax applies to income received or gain realized by individuals and married couples, by estates of deceased persons, by certain trustees and other fiduciaries, by persons who are partners in and receive income from partnerships, by corporate trusts, and by persons who receive income as shareholders of "S corporations" as defined under federal tax law. The proposed law would not affect the tax due on income or gain realized in a tax year beginning before January 1, 2009.

Looks like it cuts it this year (I don't know what it's starting at), so I don't know if 2.65% is half or not, and then it eliminates it the year after.
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Sterling
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The only moderately intersting proposition coming out of Washington State right now is a mirror to Oregon's "Death With Dignity" act.
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Lyrhawn
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Oregon

quote:
Measure 65
Measure 65 would change Oregon's elections system for: United States Senator, Representative in Congress, Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Attorney General, state Senator, state Representative, and for any other state, county, city or district office, except for nonpartisan offices or offices for which current law expressly authorizes nominations by political parties.

Rather than an election in which certain parties and voters choose party nominees for the November general election, the May primary would become a single contest among all candidates, regardless of party or independent status, in which all voters, regardless of party or independent status, may vote. The November election would become a run-off between the top two finishers from the May election, regardless of their party or independent status. The new primary would become the only means for candidates to reach the general election ballot. Parties and nonaffiliated voters would no longer be able to nominate candidates to the general election ballot by other means.

An interesting idea. I wonder what sort of repercussions it might have. I wish they’d do this for the General Presidential Election as well to see how it worked out.

South Carolina

quote:
Amendment 1 – Age of Consent
This amendment deletes the section of the Constitution which says an unmarried woman must be fourteen years old or older in order to consent to sexual intercourse. Deleting this section would allow the state legislature to set the age of consent. Currently, the state legislature has the age of consent set at sixteen for most cases.

South Dakota

quote:
Constitutional Amendment I
The Constitution limits the length of regular legislative sessions held during odd-numbered years to no more than forty legislative days, and those held during even-numbered years to no more than thirty-five legislative days.

Constitutional Amendment I would set all regular legislative sessions at a maximum of forty legislative days.

quote:
Constitutional Amendment J
The Constitution establishes term limits for legislators. No legislator may serve in the state house of representatives or the state senate for more than four consecutive terms, or a total of eight consecutive years.

Constitutional Amendment J would repeal legislator term limits.

quote:
Initiated Measure 11 - Reinstituting the Ban on Abortion
Currently a woman may obtain an abortion during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. Beyond 24 weeks, abortions may be performed only if necessary to preserve the life or health of the woman.

Measure 11 would prohibit all abortions performed by medical procedures or substances administered to terminate a pregnancy, except for: abortions medically necessary to prevent death or the serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily organ or system of the woman; and abortions to terminate a pregnancy of less than 20 weeks resulting from rape or incest reported to law enforcement.

When an abortion is performed as a result of reported rape or incest, the woman must consent to biological sampling from herself and the embryo or fetus for DNA testing by law enforcement.

Measure 11 would allow the provision of contraception substances prior to the time pregnancy can be determined by conventional medical testing, or assistance in obtaining abortions in states where the procedure is legal.

If approved, Measure 11 will likely be challenged in court and may be declared to be in violation of the United States Constitution. The State may be required to pay attorneys fees and costs.

Washington

quote:
Initiative 1000
This measure would allow a terminally ill, competent, adult Washington resident who is medically predicted to have six months or less to live, to request and self-administer lethal medication prescribed by a physician. The attending physician with primary responsibility for care of the patient would be required to determine that the patient has an incurable, irreversible disease expected to cause death within six months; that the patient is competent; that the patient has demonstrated Washington residency; that the request is voluntary; and that the patient is making an informed decision. A second, consulting physician, would be required to confirm that the patient is terminally ill, competent, and has made an informed and voluntary decision. The measure defines competent as having the ability to make and communicate an informed decision to health care providers. The measure defines an informed decision as a qualified patient's decision to request and obtain a lethal prescription, based on an appreciation of the relevant facts and after being fully informed by the attending physician of his or her diagnosis, prognosis, the risks and probable result of ingesting the medication, and feasible alternatives.

Doesn’t seem to say anything about patients who are physically unable to take the proscription themselves. This is more about legalizing suicide and proscribing suicide drugs than it is doctor assisted suicide, as it looks like if they need any help taking the drugs, doctors won’t be allowed to help there.
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Speed
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That Oregon law, at first glance, sounds terrible. Sounds like the two main parties are just looking for an excuse to further marginalize third-party candites. So if you want to be considered in November, you either have to join one of these two private clubs or start a write-in campaign, because there's no way you're getting on the ballot past the primaries.

Also, consider what would have happened if this had been the national policy during this presidential election. People of all parties were so caught up in Barack vs. Hilary mania that there's a good chance this Tuesday's ballots could have contained two Democrats.

Someone please explain to me how this is a good idea.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Someone please explain to me how this is a good idea.
It's pretty much exactly what the founding fathers envisioned, if that means anything to you.
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Speed
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Not really. If the founding fathers so firmly and unanimously supported this idea, why wasn't it done like this from the beginning?

The fact is, it may have been a good idea in 1776. But so much has changed in the last 230 years that I can't imagine why now is the time people are deciding to implement this plan.

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Lyrhawn
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For presidential elections, this WAS how it was done at the beginning. With the exception that there weren't primaries back then, the top two winners regardless of party were President and Vice President. "Exactly" may have been an exaggeration on my part, but adjusted for 220 years of drift, it's pretty close. It only made it through four elections before newly formed national parties passed a constitutional amendment to change it.

Do I think it's the best? I'm not sure, but I'm interested in the results. I think my problem with not doing it that way is, if one Republican gets 100,000 votes and another Republican gets 90,000 votes, and then then the next two vote getters are Democrats who got 20,000 and 15,000 votes, why should the guy who got 20,000 votes get on the ballot and the guy who got 90,000 gets bumped off? It's possible that some of those Democrats, given the choice between two Republicans might choose one over the other and make a difference. I think the idea is, if they're going to be stuck with a Republican anyway, give them a chance to pick the more palatable one.

That's fine with me.

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Speed
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Sounds like some pretty significant and fundamental differences between the way things were done 200 years ago and how Oregon is trying to make it.

In any case, founding fathers' intent only goes so far with me. Election processes have changed so much since their time that even if that Oregon proposal were taken verbatim from Ben Franklin's diaries I'd still be against implementing it today.

As smart as they may have been, there's still a big difference between Thomas Jefferson and Hari Seldon.

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Speed
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I think my problem with not doing it that way is, if one Republican gets 100,000 votes and another Republican gets 90,000 votes, and then then the next two vote getters are Democrats who got 20,000 and 15,000 votes, why should the guy who got 20,000 votes get on the ballot and the guy who got 90,000 gets bumped off?

If that's the case, why should any of them be bumped off? And, more importantly, why should all third-parties be bumped off every ballot? I'm for as much choice as possible.

As far as your scenarios go, I'm reminded of watching American Idol a couple years ago. It came down to the semi-finals, and one of the three remaining contestants was so obviously leagues ahead of the other two that most people considered it a foregone conclusion that she'd win. So most people ended up voting for which of the remaining (inferior) two they wanted to make it into the finals with her, and the result was that the superior singer was voted off.

My dad is a die-hard Republican who has already voted for McCain. He lives in an open-primary state, and in the primaries he voted for Obama because he was more concerned with Hilary getting knocked out than anything that was going on in the Republican party. I don't think it's too hard to imagine an election like this one run under Oregon's proposed rule that put Barack and Hilary on the ballot for the exact same reason as the most popular singer got voted off American Idol.

I don't understand why you'd risk that just for the sake of not confusing people with a choice between more than two people.

EDIT: I'm no big fan of the way primaries are run now, and I have no problem considering ways of reforming it. But this particular idea (IMHO) seems to create more problems than it solves.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Election processes have changed so much since their time that even if that Oregon proposal were taken verbatim from Ben Franklin's diaries I'd still be against implementing it today.
[Smile] Heh.

quote:
I'm no big fan of the way primaries are run now, and I have no problem considering ways of reforming it. But this particular idea (IMHO) seems to create more problems than it solves.
It would seem that you don't just have a problem with primaries, you want to eliminate them entirely. Primaries are there specifically to narrow the field so parties can run single candidates. Louisiana has a system where multiple parties run multiple candidates in the final general election for many offices. I don't really know how well they do, but I know it usually involves a run-off.

I'm not sure if I disagree or not. I tend to think we should give ranked voting a try for an election or two and see how that works. Your affection for third parties is admirable, but short of a fundamental change in the way American politics are performed, third parties are never going to acheive national prominance outside of Vermont and New Hampshire.

Most people are afraid to vote for third parties because they believe doing so will rob their second favorite candidate of winning and therefore usher in the guy they LEAST want to win. Ranked voting might solve that, it might not.

Also, using American Idol to talk about the American electorate isn't going to be particularly persuasive with me; my faith in the American people's ability to make a smart decision has been near fatal levels for years.

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Speed
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I wouldn't go so far as to advocate abolishing primaries. I realize that whittling down the numbers of candidates to a managable few, particularly for national elections, is a good thing. I understand that making people thumb through 100 ballot-pages of nutcases trying to find the candidate they're going to vote for would be a step in the wrong direction.

Also, I'm realistic enough to realize that putting Bob Barr and Ralph Nader on the ballot isn't going to give them a shot in hell of winning this election. But at least it gives someone a foot in the game without forcing them to sign up with one of the monoliths. It's better than nothing, and I'm not too eager to cede that tiny bit of power back to the big dogs.

It's a complex problem, and I'm sure I'm not qualified to offer a viable alternative. I'm glad that there are people (like you and perhaps some Oregonians) who are looking for a better way to run things. I don't know exactly what kind of plan I'd be willing to support, but high on my list of criteria will be something that gives less power, not more, to the two major parites than they have right now.

Until I see a plan like that, I'll just keep on looking.

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