You could say that in politics, as in sports, there are winners and losers. Some would argue that everyone in a democracy wins when we have free elections; I don’t suppose the Republican party is feeling too good right now, just the same. Sports is more clear: the Giants won the World Series, and last night, I watched the San Jose Earthquakes’ delightful run to the MLS championship come to an end. Goonies never say die, but that doesn’t mean someone else can’t kill them dead.
There was a proposition on the California ballot that “my” side won. It turned out that 53.1% of my fellow Californians agreed with me on this issue. Yet I feel like I’m in the minority, because most of the people I know disagreed with me. And I don’t know if they realize this, because when the topic came up, I shut up. An election helps you understand that most of your friends and family are like-minded … most of them vote for the same candidates from the same party, most of them agree on ballot issues. Discussions are amiable, because no dissent pops up to ruin the mood. Well, if I’m any example, one reason is that amiable seems more important than dissent, when you’re just shooting the shit with friends. That is, dissent exists, but it isn’t always expressed.
My silence isn’t a good thing, though. It’s like being in a group of white men who start bashing minorities or women … if you don’t say anything, you’re part of the problem. And meanwhile, everyone else amiably assumes that we’re all in agreement.
So I’ll out myself here: I voted against Proposition 37, which would have required labels on foods with genetically-modified ingredients.
And hey, I “won”.
I’ve always made it a practice with the Giants, that the day after they are eliminated in a post-season series (if they make it that far), I wear Giants gear in public. You have to represent with pride, even after a loss. So, here are the people and ballot measures I voted on where my candidate/preference lost:
- Proposition 34 would have repealed the death penalty. I voted yes, 52.8% voted no.
- Proposition 35 increases prison sentences and fines for “human traffickers”. I voted no, finding it poorly worded, unnecessary, and potentially damaging to, among others, sex workers and their families. 81.1% voted yes.
- Proposition 38 was a substitute for Prop 30, which raised money for public education (and perhaps helped save my job). I voted a cover-my-ass yes, 72.3% voted no, the passage of Prop. 30 made it all irrelevant.
- For the city council representative from our district, with a ranked system, I left the incumbent off my ordered list of three (there were only three candidates), favoring Denisha DeLane. He won without my help, with 60.27% of the votes.
- Same system for mayor, the incumbent, who wasn’t one of my three choices, got 55.44%. My first choice was Kriss Worthington.
- For rent board (always a heated item in Berkeley), I voted for a slate of four that I found more pro-renter than the other slate of four. One of my four, Igor Tregub, lost … I wonder what separated him from his fellow slate members?
Other than that, I was a winner. Why don’t I feel better?