Our View On Propositions

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Prop. 101: Medical choice?

Who could vote against apple pie? It’s so tasty. So good. So American.

Who could be against choosing your own doctor?

Well, uh, us.

Or more specifically, after a lot of squinting sideways at the fine print in Proposition 101, we’re voting against this so-called “Medical Choice for Arizona.”

On the face of it, the measure seems like a great idea. It would jam into the state constitution a measure that would prevent the government from freely choosing a health plan or doctor and ban any sort of penalty for not getting health coverage.

Right on, was our initial reaction. Those pinheads shouldn’t be messing with our free choice of a doctor — or a health plan for that matter.

But then we got to thinking — and reading the ballot arguments.

Turns out, the measure was sponsored by a group of doctors of a libertarian leaning and folks like chiropractors who want to make sure they’re included in health plans. And while the idea sounds good — the effect would be to make it much harder for Arizona to participate in any sort of health reform designed to control costs and broaden coverage.

The American health care system is in crisis, due to spiraling costs and dwindling coverage. We spend far more than any other nation and get mediocre results, as indicated by broad measures of public health. Both major party presidential candidates have promised major reforms.

It makes no sense to set such a complicated restriction into the concrete of the constitution, thereby perhaps fatally complicating Arizona’s participation in whatever reform measure emerges.

We love apple pie, but would never stuff a piece into the gas tank.

So don’t stuff this seemingly appealing proposition into the constitution.

Vote no on Proposition 101.

Prop. 105: Majority rules

In the unlikely event you don’t have any other reason to vote this year — you really ought to show up to vote against this terrible measure.

Like so many propositions — it’s a jackal in Quagga’s clothing. Or maybe a lion in a zebra suit?

Hmm. Well, you get the idea.

It starts with a seemingly innocuous premise: When it comes to propositions that change the law or require the state to spend money — the majority of the voting-age population ought to decide.

Therefore, the initiative would require future propositions to get the approval of the majority of the people of voting age — not the majority of people who show up at the polls.

The net effect of the measure would be to eliminate propositions altogether.

That’s because in most years only about two-thirds of the registered voters actually vote.

Essentially, the measure assumes that all the people who didn’t vote would have voted no. So even measures that in the past got 65 or 68 percent of the vote would have failed, had this measure been in place — including, no doubt, Prop. 105.

Now, we certainly agree that special interests have often hijacked the initiative process — just look at some of the smiling crocodiles trying their best to look like logs on the current ballot — like the payday loan “reform” measure and the “homeowners rights” one. Obviously, voters have to do their homework and not get fooled by some purring tiger.

But the ability of the voters to directly approve laws remains an important check on a special interest-dominated legislature. Proposition 105 would take that check away.

Vote no. Exterminate it.

Like the Quagga, come to think of it.

Prop. 300: Lawmakers’ salaries

Hmm. This one’s tough.

Should we boost lawmakers’ salaries from $24,000 to $30,000?

After all, they ran the budget into the ground, sidestepped most of the tough questions and have lately been raiding the piggy banks of local government.

On the first jerk of the knee, we’d rather fire the lot of them than give them raises.

But let’s assume in the private sector we paid $5 an hour for an architect. But every single guy who took the job completely screwed up the plans. Would you just advertise for another bargain basement architect — or would you think about boosting the salary?

Of course — we’re darned near certain voters worried about losing their houses and jobs aren’t likely to give the clown squad a raise this year.

Still, we thought we’d quote the cliché: You get what you pay for.

We’re all wore out

OK. Jeeze. We’re done.

The editorial board couldn’t agree on the last two ballot measures. Proposition 102 would move the current ban on gay marriage from the statutes to the constitution. Proposition 100 would insert into the constitution a forever ban on the imposition of any tax on the transfer of real estate.

Judging by our discussion, you can have some pretty entertaining arguments.

We beat each other bloody and agreed to disagree.

So you folks are on your own on these two. Good luck with that.

Visit payson.com to read Part One of this editorial — “Our view on perplexing propositions” —which covered Prop. 200, Prop. 201 and Prop. 202.

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