Crawl Across the Ocean

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Taking Initiative

First of all, a cheer for the American voters who delivered a huge victory to the Democrats in the midterm elections, a result which will meet with universal acclaim here in Canada (progressives welcome the result, and right-wing folks are too touchy about anti-Americanism to criticize anything that happens there).

But even beyond the House and Senate races, I was struck by the positive (vs. my expectations) results of the various state initiatives.

There were three initiatives relating to abortion, a complete ban in South Dakota and a requirement of parental notification in California and Oregon. All 3 were defeated.

There were six initiatives to raise the minimum wage and all of them passed, many with some of the biggest margins of any initiative.

Missouri voted to allow stem cell research, and one state, Arizona, even rejected a ban on same-sex marriage.

Admittedly, most states approved bans on same-sex marriage and an initiative to restrict affirmative action passed in Michigan, but generally the results were positive and quite 'liberal'.

Finally, Nevada is creeping closer to getting majority support for an initiative to legalize marijuana (44% voted yes this time, as opposed to 39% in 2002), and a similar measure in Colorado got 40% support.

On the topic of marijuana, the Globe and Mail had an article the other day, 'Pot Buying Goes Corporate', which talks about the increasingly professional customer service of organizations in New York City which will deliver pot to your door.

This article prompted Richard Roskell to comment:
"It's no wonder Americans are turning to home delivery for their recreational drugs. If you were down on the street buying them you might run into homophobic evangelists consorting with male prostitutes."


...which is pretty funny, I have to say, but on a more serious note, the article is just one more sign of the inanity of our drug laws with regard to marijuana.

It makes me a wonder how a referendum on legalizing put would go in B.C. (assuming the government didn't arbitrarily set a 60% threshold for any such vote to 'pass'). One thing is for sure, such a referendum would bring out a lot of opponents arguing that it may be a good idea but we shouldn't do it because the Americans would get upset. But the way things are going, if we don't do it, the Americans just might do it first.

6 Comments:

  • It makes me a wonder how a referendum on legalizing put would go in B.C. (assuming the government didn't arbitrarily set a 60% threshold for any such vote to 'pass').

    Ha! Yeah, this is why we miss you.

    By Blogger Idealistic Pragmatist, at 10:26 PM  

  • Wow, I was just about to post the nearly the same comment, except I was going to quote from either this:

    "... a result which will meet with universal acclaim here in Canada (progressives welcome the result, and right-wing folks are too touchy about anti-Americanism to criticize anything that happens there)."

    or this:

    "But the way things are going, if we don't do it, the Americans just might do it first."

    By Blogger Simon, at 10:31 PM  

  • "it may be a good idea but we shouldn't do it because the Americans would get upset."

    It's a good thing Canadians used to have more common sense, didn't worry about such things, and got rid of prohibition anyway.

    By Blogger talk talk talk, at 2:25 PM  

  • "it may be a good idea but we shouldn't do it because the Americans would get upset."

    It's a good thing Canadians used to have more common sense, didn't worry about such things, and got rid of prohibition anyway.

    By Blogger talk talk talk, at 2:26 PM  

  • Hello

    Congratulating "the American voters" on the election results? What of all that has appeared on your blog and elsewhere about the corruption and unreliability of the counting systems and massive glitches reported this year? Granted, much of the concern was specifically about the ties of software firms etc. to the Reoublican Party, but results favouring the Democrats could come about two ways: 1/ the counters etc. suddenly reformed and decided to be honest 2/ the Democrats made them a better offer. Which does the general tenor of American politics suggest as more likely?


    On the subjects of voting, what do you think of the new federal bill C-31, "as amended by the standing committee" which requires that every voter be given a unique number by Elections Canada and photo ID(or two pieces of identification that can be anything the Chief Electoral Officer prerscribes) and then allows most of its provisions to be got around by the swearing of oaths. It seems to me overestimate the seriousness of oaths in present Canadian culture.

    Best Wishes,
    Alan

    By Anonymous Alan E. Dunne, at 2:35 PM  

  • My feeling on the U.S. election was simply that it was too big a margin of support for the various forms of trickery to make a difference, although when you get to the level of the individual raecs there are certainly some interesting (in a bad way) stories.

    As for Bill C31, I don't know much about it. I do wonder what problem it is trying to fix.

    By Blogger Declan, at 12:44 PM  

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