Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Three public questions that I saw on a ballot...

1) For the health and saftey of children and the entire community, shall the state of Illinois enact a comprehensive ban on the manufacture, sale, delievery, and possession of military style assault weapons and .50 caliber rifles?

2) Shall Illinois enact legislation in 2007 to increase the minimum wage for Illinois workers from $6.50/hr to $7.50/hr?

3) Shall the United States Government immediately begin an orderly and rapid withdrawal of all its military personnel from Iraq, beginning with the National Guard and Reserves?

Interesting. Perhaps with the exception of the second one these quesitons are ideologically loaded.


Pat Hickey 8:42 AM  

I'll vote a Yes on all three.

Walking Wounded,  8:53 AM  

Where, exactly, did you see this ballot? What a loaded question #1 is. What's the definition of a "military assault rifle"? How many fifty caliber weapons are used on the street?

It's not up to the voters to decide what minimum wage is, that is a legislative function.

Also, it's neither the voters, local or state's place to determine whether or when to pull the military out of any conflict.

If people want change, fine...elect those representatives who have the ideals they believe in.
Otherwise, this "ballot" is useless.

crash-dev 9:36 AM  

How would you phrase the first and third question to make them less loaded?

Jerry 11:00 AM  

Walking wounded, these are advisory referendums, not california style ballot initiatives.

Furthermore, these are definitely partisan. We're learning from you. These referenda are designed to boost democrat turnout, just as advisory referendum/ballot initiatives against gay marriage have been used by the GOP in recent cycles to boost turnout. Or did you forget the IFI miserably failed in their attempt to get such a referenda on this ballot as well?

And, until King George started overriding the State's authority, what the National Guard of each state did was up to the Governor of said state. The initiative clearly states that national guard troops pull out first.

As far as assault weapons, I'm sure a tour of any Chicago Precinct's evidence storage area would reveal a great many assault weapons, as there has been an uptick in the numbers confiscated since George let the federal assault weapons ban lapse.

Levois 11:16 AM  

I saw this on the ballot right behind the judges seeking retention. This was a ballot from Chicago.

And furthermore instead of rewording these questions, I would have just kept them off the ballot. Though the first question I'd just drop the part about for the health and saftey of the children. That's just designed to cause a favorable result.

Of course that is not to say that I wouldn't disagree with the banning of assault weapons.

Walking Wounded,  11:20 AM  

Your comment doesn't answer the question on what a "Military style assault weapon" is. That is so open to interpretation that a bayonet could be considered as an assault weapon.
As for military withdrawal...the proposal mentions ALL military personnel be withdrawn. Again, the voters don't have the authority to make that determination.
Since Blagojevich seems to enjoy thumbing his nose at Federal authority (ie: illegally importing drugs from Canada), perhaps he should just make a mandate for all Illinois National Guard and Reserves to immediately return home from Iraq. Yeah, that's the ticket.
I see your point on the IFI referendum, and, in my opinion have no problem seeing that it failed.
There's no doubt these are partisan issues, I'm just wondering what ballots they were placed on.

Walking Wounded,  11:22 AM  

Ah, Levois, you answered my question. (Chicago...go figure)
Thank you.

Party Pooper,  2:01 AM  

I voted no on all three because I hate poor people, children, and soldiers.

Imagine if a pollster asked the 1st or 3rd Q in a poll. I think people would be up in arms about push polling, and rightly so.

Jerry 1:55 PM  

WW -
Sorry for taking so long to reply. I would imagine any state legislation covering an assault weapons ban would cover the same range of weapons that the former federal assault weapons ban covered. That is, I believe, fully automatic weapons, and high caliber semi-automatic weapons. Can't be positive, I'm not a firearms expert by any means. I would imagine it would cover heavy weapons like kalishnikov's, as well as M-4 style weapons, and micro-submachine guns like uzi's and mac's. It may also cover pistols that have been modified to be fully automatic.

I cannot imagine it covering shotguns, single shot/hunting type rifles, or most handguns.

Jerry 2:02 PM  

And, just to reiterate. These are advisory referenda, not ballot initiatives. As far as I know, Illinois does not allow ballot initiatives. A ballot initiative is legislation by the ballot box. But advisory referenda are common. In my own ward (in Chicago) we have an advisory referenda on the proposed circle-line project. I'm voting against it, not because I'm opposed to the circle line per se, but because the CTA needs to spend its capital funding on other things right now. Like repairs and upgrades to existing lines, extending the red line south, etc.

So, your comment about legislation via the ballot box doesn't hold water. If these ballot questions 'win' or 'lose' nothing happens, it just shows the legislature how the voters of Illinois feel about the question at hand.

And, technically speaking, Blago does have the power to demand that all Illinois National Guard troops return home immediately. He, not Bush, is the Commander in Chief of the ING. Traditionally speaking, in times of war, Governor's accede to requests from the federal government. But, with the occupation this unpopular, Bush wants legislation that will allow him to override State's Governors and nationalize the (ill-named) National Guard.

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