The Confusion of Colorado Politics.
In anticipation of Wrock the Vote, I wandered over to Ballotpedia this morning, to try and get an idea of the issues that will be showing up on my ballot this November. The final results are not in, of course, but they are beginning to take shape–and I was rather surprised by what I saw.
The first thing I noticed is that the question of same-sex marriage hasn’t even made it to the ballot. Again. Neither did the “Discrimination Repeal Amendment” which would “Repeal language in the state constitution that prohibits laws that ban discrimination against the gay community.” While I may not be exactly surprised by this, given Colorado’s recent history on the subject of gay rights, I have to admit I was hoping for better. It’s 2012, you’d think we could at least get them on the ballot by now.
Another initiative that doesn’t seem to be making it is one which would require lenders to prove their right to foreclose on a property. Yeah, my jaw pretty much hit the floor when I saw that. Um…sorry, we have to vote on that? REALLY? I mean, no offense to the political process, but surely we can all agree that lenders can’t just take people’s houses without proving that they have the right to do so. You might even think that would just, you know, go without saying. Apparently not.
So, what IS likely to be on the ballot? Well, the only question certified to be on the ballot so far is about legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Okay, I have nothing against that, but someone explain to me how this is more important than gay rights or people’s homes being taken away? I’m confused here.
Here are some other entertaining questions that are well on their way to the Colorado ballot:
- The “Personhood Amendment,” which would redefine a fetus as a ‘person’ and therefore define abortion as murder. This amendment has shown up on every ballot since I was old enough to vote, and has (fortunately) been defeated every time. Personally, I think the real issue here is whether you think that the government should be able to tell women what to do with their bodies.
- An amendment that would legalize recreational marijuana with no regulations at all.
- A “Handgun Amendment” which would allow people to carry concealed handguns without a permit. Okay, I go to an inner-city University in the middle of Denver, which hosts about 45,000 students per day. Over the last few years I have seen enough stupid and crazy things happen on that campus to know that there is no version of “concealed handguns without a permit” that is a good idea. The right to bear arms is all well and good, but what about the right to go to school without being shot at by that drunk guy I wouldn’t give my number to yesterday? That would be nice.
Riiight…apparently marijuana is twice as important as human rights.
All politics aside, I’m having trouble with the logic here. How is the right to smoke all the pot you want–and carry concealed handguns at the same time–more important than anyone’s right to marry the person they love? Why is it that our state’s constitution still allows discrimination against grown, consenting adults because of who they love, and we’re worried about the rights of a fetus–especially if the people putting the “Personhood Amendment” on the ballot are really concerned with “the rights of every human being“, as they claim? What about Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness is confusing? And why the deuce is there even a question about lenders having to prove their rights before they can take your property?!
Being an optimist at heart, I’m really looking forward to the elections this November, but this first glance has left me shaking my head ruefully at my state, and thinking:
She needs to sort out her priorities. ~Ronald Weasley