Thursday Apr 16, 2009

California special election

Today I got the "voter information pamphlet" for the California statewide special election - which is meant to solve the . The booklet is rather short on information. Well, very short on information. A bit of searching found this site that links to the actual texts of the bills. Even with this I'm confused as to how "Supplemental payments to local school districts ... to address budget cuts." can provide "state savings of up to several billion dollars in 2009-2010 and 2011-2012".

Note:The last time I wrote about voting, I was presenting at a customer site the next day, and one of the questions was "Is this really your blog?". Next week I'm off presenting again, and if you happen to come here as a result of one of those presentations, please scroll down for my usual material. :)

Tuesday Oct 07, 2008

Voting in California

We recently became citizens, so this was the first election in which we'd be eligible to vote. Probably somewhat enthusiastically I sat down with the thick set of documents and tried to figure out what to vote for.

What was surprising to me, voting for the first time, was that did I not only get to pick the President (well, I guess they'll let some other people have a say too ;), together with various Senators etc. They also have a bunch of propositions which I can be for or against. So it's not like I just get to put a tick in one box; I have to read a fair sized telephone directory of arguments, then try to make sense of which argument is most convincing.

Most of the arguments are, unfortunately, just that. Here's some quotes both for and against one of the propositions "Don't believe the scare tactics.", "[Proposition]... over time saves California $2.5 billion.", "[Proposition]... will massively increase costs to taxpayers.".

Anyway I do not blog to discuss politics. But I figured it might be useful to provide a table showing the various propositions and the positions adopted by some of the political parties.

The Republican and Democratic parties just give out a list of the propositions and whether they are for or against them. I've included a link to the Green party which includes some analysis behind their decisions and a link to Pete Stahl who came up first when I searched for other discussions of the propositions.

PropositionDemocratic Republican Green Pete Stahl
1A Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century. YesNoNo positiontbd
2 Treatment of Farm Animals. Statute. YesNoYesYes
3 Children’s Hospital Bond Act. Grant Program. Statute. YesNoNoNo
4 Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor’s Pregnancy. Constitutional Amendment. NoYesNoNo
5 Nonviolent Offenders. Sentencing, Parole and Rehabilitation. Statute. YesNoYesYes
6 Criminal Penalties and Laws. Public Safety Funding. Statute. NoYesNoNo
7 Renewable Energy. Statute. NoNoNoNo
8 Limit on Marriage. Constitutional Amendment. NoYesNoNo
9 Criminal Justice System. Victims’ Rights. Parole. Constitutional Amendment and Statute. NoYesNoNo
10 Bonds. Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Renewable Energy. Statute. NeutralNoNoNo
11 Redistricting. Constitutional Amendment and Statute. NoNo positionNoYes
12 Veterans' Bond Act of 2008. YesYesYes, with reservationsYes

There are some other political parties which I've not included. The peace and freedom party is broadly in line with the Green party. The Libertarian party basically recommends voting No for those that it actually cares about. Neither of these gives any information about their motivation.

Wednesday Mar 26, 2008

Balancing California's budget

A mail about Next 10 appeared on one of the aliases that I lurk on. The organisation aims to raise awareness of the state budget, and part of this is an on-line 'game' to balance the state's budget. The game presents various scenarios together with their projected costs. It's interesting to see some of the options that are available, and to learn a bit more about the history of the current budget and the discussion around the future options.


Darryl Gove is a senior engineer in the Solaris Studio team, working on optimising applications and benchmarks for current and future processors. He is also the author of the books:
Multicore Application Programming
Solaris Application Programming
The Developer's Edge


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Solaris Application Programming
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