Sunday, September 28, 2008

The 2008 Robbinsdal Radical Voting Guide: Part 2

This second installment covers the Initiated Measures. Part 1 was about the Constitutional Amendments, and Part 3 will cover candidates.

A useful resource for learning more about the ballot measures is the South Dakota Ballot Question Pamphlet, which includes pro-and-con statements for each of the ballot questions.

Initiated Measure 9 - An Initiative to make certain securities practices and transactions unlawful.

Who knows what they were thinking on this one. I don't understand this and I have to suspect there are ulterior motives here. International stock transactions are involved, and at least the transactions cross state boundaries so it's most likely best handled by Federal law -- I doubt our State will even have much jurisdiction, rendering it a waste of our efforts to pass such a law.

Radical votes No on IM 9.

Initiated Measure 10 - An Initiative to prohibit tax revenues from being used for lobbying or campaigning, to prohibit governmental bodies from lobbying, to prohibit government contractors from making campaign contributions, to prohibit government contracts when the contractor employs a legislator or legislative staff member, and to require contracts with governmental bodies to be published.

The staggering length of the title of this Initiated Measure alone should send your BS meter up to eleven. This has been sold as an "open and clean government bill" but what it is in fact a blatant attack on free political speech, and worse, an attempt to make governing so difficult that the state government will be hamstrung to do anything. Delicious as that sounds, I'm a believer that even South Dakota's government has proven itself to capable of doing very good things, sometimes almost by accident. But state government can't function, especially in this small state, if everyone doesn't have a chance to speak to help our politicians and executives figure out what needs to be done (and what should NOT be done!).

Both political parties resoundingly shot this down in their State Conventions in 2008, probably the first time they agreed on something with such enthusiasm. Many of these politicos have been doing political things for a while and I have to take that as guidance.

Radical votes No on IM 10.

Initiated Measure 11 - An Initiative to prohibit abortions except in cases where the mother’s life or health is at a substantial and irreversible risk, and in cases of reported rape and incest.

I know what M11 if definitely not. No matter what you may hear, this is definitely not a referendum on whether abortion is right or wrong.

Instead, the question is whether this is a good law; whether it will succeed in its laudable goal of (a) reducing abortions and (b) encouraging sexual responsibility (i.e. abstinence, if you ask our friends at Vote Yes For Life).

We're kidding ourselves if the we think the second part is not at the top of the agenda of the promoters of IM11.

It's also a question that even if this law would effectively accomplish either of the goals above, whether it's worth having the government dictate what goes on between a doctor, a patient, and her family, and worth the extreme intervention of the government into our personal lives.

Time for a reality check. South Dakota already has the most restrictive abortion laws in the country and because of its geography arguably the most limited access to all forms of women's medical care. We already have the awful affects of illegal abortions here in South Dakota already, and IM11 will not change that one way or the other.

This law would only allow incest victims an "exception" if they press charges and agree to submit DNA evidence to the government. Press charges, and submit tissue, or you're going to jail, honey. These not only aren't really "exceptions" -- but they sure bring into sharp relief what this division is about: citizens that think civil liberties are nice thing when we can trust people to do what we want them to do, and those that believe that women and families can and must be trusted, because our Founding Fathers were right to limit government power over our lives. I also agree with the Founding Fathers that people are basically good and will do the right thing if we give them freedom from government proscription. Jefferson and Adams would grieve how this issue has been cravenly put to political use, magnifying the suffering and putting our liberty at risk.

Sure, the life-of-the-mother and the medical abortions are not the majority of the small number of legal abortions that take place in-state -- but as a mom who is campaigning against IM11 said in a Washington Post piece published Sunday:

"So what if it's rare? If it's happening to you, it's not rare... If it can happen to me, it can happen to you, your sister, your neighbor, your daughter."

This young woman did a TV ad, putting her family it risk from the Operation Rescue types who will be marauding the State with their graphic photographs and their angry sanctimonious sermons in the coming weeks. I'm hoping they don't even make it over to West River.

The Radical votes with this brave woman, in favor of freedom, and in compassion and support for the women in his life and all women in South Dakota.

Radical votes No on IM 11.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:58

    Measure 10 is still confusing to me but I will be voting no. For measure 11...I couldn't have argued it better myself. I was so proud of South Dakota last time when we voted down the complete ban. I'm definitely worried too many people have been sucked into the Pro-Life vortex this time around. I live in Sioux Falls and yes, every weekend they're out marching all around 41st St and the Empire Mall area. As a young woman I find it unbelievable that anyone would want government having that kind of reach into our personal lives. In fact, it makes me sick to think about. Hope is out there yet though...both of my registered-Republican parents are voting no on 11!