There are several things about Proposition 16 (on tomorrow’s California ballot) that just make me say, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
1. The ad campaign is horribly misleading. They’re promoting it as “Your Right To Vote,” but it has nothing to do with your right to vote. I guess “Making it hard for local governments to get into or expand the electricity business” isn’t snappy enough, but that’s what it actually does: it requires governments to hold additional elections (or piggyback on already-scheduled elections) if they want to get into the electricity business.
Whether it passes or not, your voting rights aren’t affected at all.
2. It’s oddly specific. If you look past the main slogan, you’ll see them talk about making sure governments don’t spend large amounts of money without voter approval.* But it only applies to the power industry. And it’s sponsored by Pacific Gas & Electric, the largest power company in the state.
That’s sort of like deciding that theft is a problem, but only making it illegal to steal from your house. If the problem is governments spending huge amounts of money, why focus only on one industry?
The whole thing comes off as being very self-serving, like Microsoft sponsoring an initiative to require a popular vote if a city wants to switch from Microsoft Office to Google Docs or OpenOffice.org.
*Of course, when you think about it, we approved the people making the decision when we voted them into office.