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triciamarie
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posted 05 November 2008 07:20 AM      Profile for triciamarie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I confess that I have never paid very close attention to the mechanics of US elections, where as far as I can tell, barely distinguishable outcomes always seem to be based on money and abstruse factors like chads and electoral college votes, not voter preference per se.

So it came as a shock to me last night to realize that, at the same time as most US voters are patriotically marking their presidential ballots in that formulaic exercise in futility, they are also participating in direct democracy at the state level, in the form of ballot measures -- not just referenda as I thought, but actually enacting law via a simple majority yes or no to questions placed on the ballots by citizen petition or the state legislature.

As discussed in the election outcomes threat, the ballot questions this election included in some states, bans on same sex marriage and limits on abortion. A sizeable proportion pertain to tax rules. And in Washington State, a majority of voters has decided to join Oregon in permitting doctor-assisted suicide.

It boggles my mind that these kind of legal rights and obligations can be determined by a yes or no question at the bottom of an unrelated ballot.

Is this a good thing or not?


From: gwelf | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged
babblerwannabe
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posted 05 November 2008 07:39 AM      Profile for babblerwannabe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
According to the CNN exit Poll, 70 percent of African Americans voted to take away equal- marriage from same sex couples. Good job, guys and Good job, President Obama! That's the change we can believe in.
From: toronto | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mojoroad1
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posted 05 November 2008 07:45 AM      Profile for Mojoroad1     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
To be fair, I don't know what other ballot initiatives were on every state ballot, however in 2 "red states" they had draconian anti-abortion ballot questions - 1 would have might even potentially have limited the use of contraceptives..... both were defeated.
From: Muskoka | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged
babblerwannabe
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posted 05 November 2008 07:53 AM      Profile for babblerwannabe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And also anti-equal marriage amendment passed in both Florida and Arizona as well.

And same sex couples are banned from adoption in Arkansas.


From: toronto | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
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posted 05 November 2008 08:04 AM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Good news: Proposition 4, a "parental notification" anti-abortion proposition, was narrowly defeated in California by 52% to 47%.
quote:
Proposition 4: Abortion


What it would do: Amend the state Constitution to bar abortions by unemancipated minors until 48 hours after a physician notifies the minor's parent or legal guardian. Permit notification to certain adult relatives if a doctor reports the parent to law enforcement or a child protective services agency.

Chief proponents: Life Legal Defense Foundation, California Right to Life Committee Inc., Knights of Columbus local chapters, Family Research Council, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Major donors to "Yes" side: James E. Holman, publisher of weekly San Diego Reader and four lay Catholic papers; vintner and former Republican state legislator Don Sebastiani

Chief opponents: Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, American Civil Liberties Union local chapters, Feminist Majority Foundation, California Medical Assn., California Nurses Assn.

Major donors to "No" side: Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, American Civil Liberties Union local chapters

Main arguments in favor: Parents have a right to know if their minor daughters are seeking abortions, a major medical procedure. Without being notified, parents may be kept ignorant of a sexual assault on their daughter and of the possible cause of medical complications.

Main arguments against: A notification law cannot compel healthy family communication and may drive a wedge between a patient and physician. A minor could be at risk if she fears telling parents or other adult family members and seeks an unsafe abortion or induces an abortion herself.



To keep up on the reproductive rights issue, bookmark the Women's Law Project.

[ 05 November 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]


From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 05 November 2008 08:04 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
With 95 percent of precincts reporting, here are some of the results from California:

Proposition 2 - Establishes the nation's first comprehensive farm animal rights law.
Yes - 63.2%; No - 36.8%

Proposition 4 - Requires parental notification before a minor can get an abortion.
No - 52.4%; Yes - 47.6%

Proposition 5 - Expands treatment programs for nonviolent drug offenders.
No - 59.8%; Yes - 40.2%

Proposition 7 - Requires increasing shares of state power generation to come from renewable sources of energy.
No - 64.9%; Yes - 35.1%

Proposition 8 - Bans same sex marriage.
Yes - 52%; No - 48%

Proposition 11 - Creates commission to draw state legislative districts and create rules for congressional redistricting by Legislature.
Yes - 50.5%; No - 49.5%


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mojoroad1
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posted 05 November 2008 08:16 AM      Profile for Mojoroad1     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
a good resource for all ballot initiatives....


MSNBC Ballot initiatives page


From: Muskoka | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged
Mojoroad1
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posted 05 November 2008 08:44 AM      Profile for Mojoroad1     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Proposition 8 - Bans same sex marriage.
Yes - 52%; No - 48%

Just heard on MSNBC that it is now too close to call....


From: Muskoka | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
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posted 05 November 2008 08:45 AM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In San Francisco, the prostitution industry loses by 31,000 votes on Proposition K - its bid to financially starve anti-sex trafficking activists and decriminalize the activities of pimps, johns and traffickers.
quote:
"K - A measure decriminalizing prostitution in San Francisco, requiring the city to stop enforcing prostitution laws, and restricting resources to anti-prostitution programs.
98 percent of precincts counted. Requires majority. Yes - 42 percent. No - 58 percent."

Source

In a bit of related news: Yesterday, November 4, the Justice Committee of the Norwegian Parliament approved the government bill regarding a comprehensive law that prohibits the purchase of a sexual service, applicable in Norway as well as when Norwegian men purchase a sexual service abroad. This is an important step towards the Norwegian parliament voting in favour of the law at the end of November.

[ 05 November 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]


From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
ElizaQ
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posted 05 November 2008 01:36 PM      Profile for ElizaQ     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Lawsuits are starting against Proposition 8

ACLU Files Suit to Challenging Validity of Prop 8

quote:
SAN FRANCISCO The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a writ petition before the California Supreme Court today urging the court to invalidate Proposition 8 if it passes. The petition charges that Proposition 8 is invalid because the initiative process was improperly used in an attempt to undo the constitution's core commitment to equality for everyone by eliminating a fundamental right from just one group lesbian and gay Californians. Proposition 8 also improperly attempts to prevent the courts from exercising their essential constitutional role of protecting the equal protection rights of minorities. According to the California Constitution, such radical changes to the organizing principles of state government cannot be made by simple majority vote through the initiative process, but instead must, at a minimum, go through the state legislature first.

The California Constitution itself sets out two ways to alter the document that sets the most basic rules about how state government works. Through the initiative process, voters can make relatively small changes to the constitution. But any measure that would change the underlying principles of the constitution must first be approved by the legislature before being submitted to the voters. That didn't happen with Proposition 8, and that's why it's invalid.


Lesbian Couple Plans to Sue

quote:
The first same-sex couple to wed in Los Angeles last summer struck the first blow from gay advocates against the new voter-approved ban on gay marriages Wednesday, announcing they were filing a lawsuit against the measure.

Robin Tyler and Diane Olson of North Hills said Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred will file the new lawsuit containing a new and controversial legal argument as to why Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.



From: Eastern Lakes | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged

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