November 12, 2006

Ballot Measures.

Aside from the satisfactory Democratic victories in this midterm elections, various ballot measures turned out very well. There were many results which were pleasantly surprising.

Stem cell initiative in Missouri:

This measure is to some extent symbolic. It does not allow any new methods of research. It merely allows any stem cell research to be conducted that is permitted under federal law.
It also allows any cures or therapies that may result from the above research to be performed on patients. So in a sense the success of this initiative now brings Missouri on par with the level of federal acceptance of stem cell research. Still it is a major victory considering that a No vote would have banned any kind of research and nipped in the bud some exciting new research labs in the state.

The campaigning for this initiative was very eventful and attracted wide the attention. There was the Michael J Fox ad in favor which drew insane reaction from conservative radio hosts and some ads against by some popular people like Jeff Supan, the star St Louis Cardinals pitcher. I personally thought that this would work against McCaskill (the Democratic Senate candidate) as many conservatives will turn out to vote against the initiative and her. Exactly opposite seemed to have happened.

South Dakota law on abortion ban:

The legislature of South Dakota passed a law baning abortion in every case except when the life of mother is in danger. Some wise people decided not to go to court against this law, but to put it on the ballot. It turned out to be a brilliant move. The voters soundly rejected the law. It was a very important result. This would have turned the clock back on fight for basic human rights.

As (registration required) ironically "pro-life" supporters are really "anti-life" as they try to deny women a legitimate right and thereby forcing on them untold miseries of death by crude abortions or of unwanted motherhood. According to a World Health Organization estimate, 110,000 women worldwide die each year from such illegal abortions and up to six times as many suffer injury from them.

Minimum wage measures in many states: One very happy outcome of the elections is the very convincing victory for measures to raise the minimum wage in 7 states. This confirms clearly how voters think on this issue.

Now coming to a few not so happy results:

Gay marriage ban: Results on this also confirmed how voters feel on this. Except in Arizona all other seven states which had this on the ballot rejected it.

In Michigan voters comfortably approved scrapping affirmative action in university admissions and government hiring.


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