California has a mess of propositions up for voting on November 8. Some are a bit confusing. Following are my views on the initiatives. Please correct me if I'm wrong on any of them.
Prop 73: YES. This would require a 48-hour waiting period and parental notification for minors wanting abortions. While pro-abortion groups are going nuts about this, it's a pretty minimal and reasonable hurdle. Teenage girls who just found out that they are pregnant are not necessarily in a calm and rational state of mind. Forty-eight hours to think it over and a discussion with the parents are a good idea. Opponents raise the case of abusive parents, but the proposition allows for the minor to see a judge instead. Groups like Planned Parenthood would obviously facilitate minors applying to judges. Minors need parents' permission for a school trip to a museum or to get a tattoo. It's asinine to say that they should get invasive, and often psychologically traumatic, surgery without parental involvement.
Prop 74: YES. Most teachers are good; some are really bad. The current tenure system makes it very difficult to get rid of bad teachers. Once you teach for two years, you pretty much have to be caught on video molesting kids to get fired. This measure would simply postpone the no-accountability date to five years.
Prop 75: YES. This would require unions to get approval from members before using their dues for political contributions. Unions should be in the business of collective bargaining, not owning the state legistlature.
Prop 76: YES. Schwarzenegger's "live-within-our-means" initiative is common-sense and necessary reform. It would limit spending increases to the rate of revenue growth (trailing three-year average). The California budget was recently a disaster, and is currently kept afloat only by borrowing from the future and reaping a flood of property taxes from the housing bubble. Without reform like this, California will be really screwed at the next economic downturn.
Prop 77: YES. Politicians have gerrymandered their districts so that they cannot lose. In fact, even with an angry electorate in the 2004 elections, of the 153 congressional and state legislative races, not a single seat changed parties. This reform would take redisticting out of the hands of the politicians and put it in the hands of a nonpartisan panel of retired judges. If you oppose Proposition 77, you're either an incumbent or an idiot.
Prop 78: NO. This is a pharmaceutical industry attempt to pre-empt the really bad Proposition 79. If Prop 78 gets more votes than Prop 79, it would void Prop 79. Prop 78 is certainly way less bad than Prop 79, but I'm saying no to both.
Prop 79: NO. This is a large and bureaucratic state drug program. It is probably irrelevant as either the federal government or drug companies will probably overturn it in court. Save the millions of dollars and years in legal costs and vote no.
Prop 80: NO. This is bad re-regulation of California's electricity market.