There’s an important event coming on Tuesday, November 6: The California General Election. That’s the way for ordinary people to affect governmental policy. Everybody who is determined to be an eligible voter can take part in this Election. To be eligible to vote you have to be a U.S. citizen, living in California, and registered where you currently live, at least 18 years old, and not to be convicted of a felony or found mentally incompetent.
This year, 11 propositions will be considered in the election. They are mostly related to politics and economics. Here are a few of the most controversial:
Proposition 3 offers to authorize bonds to fund projects for water supply, which simply means that the government will borrow some money from people by selling bonds, use this money for supporting water supply and quality projects, and then gradually pay this money back. The government will borrow $8.877 billion, and it will take 40 years to repay it (with $430 million per year).
A lot of people think that it is a good idea because it secures safe, reliable, and clean water for California. It will provide water for people, farms, and the environment. However, other people argue that it is not worth it because it will not produce one drop of new water, and the bond will double the amount that has to be repaid.
MBHS chemistry teacher, Steve Gade, said that he dislikes this proposition because he doesn’t find the concept of borrowing money and then paying it back with an interest reasonable. His solution would be for the people to pay a tax for water supply projects rather than having the U.S. government borrowing money to pay for these projects. He said that if they were to borrow money, people would still have to pay taxes for the projects but they would pay with an interest- meaning that it would be more expensive.
Another controversial proposition is Proposition 7, which talks about daylight savings time. If there is a 2/3 majority vote on this proposal, it will end the biannual time change. According to many of medical researchers, these time changes are bad for our health. People for the proposition argue that time changes are hazardous to productivity of schoolchildren and the workforce.
However, opponents to the proposition are concerned that it will make winter mornings dark for an extra hour, so children will be going to school in the dark, which they feel is unsafe. A Morro Bay High school senior, Alex Borges, doesn’t like this proposition, and said, “Biannual time changes help our day timetable to match with dark and light parts of the day.” On the other hand, MBHS senior Mailani McKelvy thought that taking away the biannual time changes would make people’s life much less complicated.
There are also many arguments about Proposition 12, which aims to establish new standards of confinement of specified farm animals. If a majority of people vote for this, farmers will have to meet more requirements to confine some animals such as providing more space for egg-laying hens, breeding pigs, and calves raised for veal. Californians will also not be able to buy products which came from animals housed in ways that didn’t meet such requirements.
This proposal is endorsed by many people, their main argument being that confining animals inside a tiny cage is not only cruel, but products from suffering animals also threaten food safety. On the other hand, these reforms would decrease state income from farm business.
MBHS Biology teacher, Peggy Flynn, is opposed to this proposition, even though she does think that conditions for animals should be improved. She doesn’t like this proposition because she is concerned that it will not make any difference, stating “Human Society of the United States always tries to seem to be doing good things, but nothing usually changes, or even becomes worse.”
If you are interested in more information about the California General Election, go to http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/ to find more information about all 11 propositions.