Saturday, October 27, 2007

Your Referendumb Guide, Part 2

Back in June I delivered important insights and a compelling new perspective on those controversial spring referendum questions… whatever they were.

This Tuesday’s referendum vote will be just as memorable, I suspect, so brace yourselves as I show these tough issues who’s boss.

Question 1: Would you like Canadians to visit Calais and deposit large sums of money into the local economy, with the possible drawback of shady gangster-types suddenly roaming the woods of Washington County looking for new places to dump bodies?

I sense most Mainers are willing to go along with the Passamaquoddy racino plan, provided the corpses involved are not likely to be their own.

No, no. I’m only kidding. There is no reason to suspect the presence of a gambling operation will result in lots and lots of organized crime.

The bigger problem will be all those extra Canadian coins suddenly circulating with the rest of our money.

You know how frustrating it is to try to buy a little baggie of Andy Capp Hot Fries, only to realize one of the quarters you were depending on won’t work because it has a picture of some wild, furry beast on one side of it, and a moose on the other? Imagine that happening to you, like, two-hundred times as often as it does now.

And while I don’t mind the idea of Canadians losing all their life savings and all their possessions in Calais, forcing them to migrate back across the border naked and starving, this will mean fewer of them making it as far as Bangor or points south to spend their vacation dollars.

Hold on a sec… fewer Canadian tourists driving around the rest of Maine? Never mind. Vote yes. Please.

Questions 2-4: These involve borrowing money for colleges to build swanky new buildings, and for setting aside land for preservation and recreation and all that good stuff.

Super. And with all that money coming in from the 410 casinos soon to be spreading around the state like a poison ivy rash, we should be able to afford the payments without a problem.

Question 5: Do you favor increasing legislative term limits in order to reduce the number of mental hospital escapees who end up holding public office?

I’m all in favor of term limits, but not for the citizen legislators who basically volunteer their time to travel to August and are directly accountable to voters.

Since the enactment of legislative term limits in 1993, the executive branch of our state government has thrown its weight around a lot more, pushing through inane, short-sighted regulations while inexperienced legislators are still trying to figure out where the state house bathrooms are.

The result? School consolidation, skewed budget priorities, and just one measly national championship for the UMaine hockey team.

I would rather see term limits for out-of-touch bureaucrats:

- Commissioner of Agriculture: One year term.

- Secretary of State: Two years.

- Anyone who works for the Maine Turnpike Authority: One month.

- D.O.T. Commissioner: One term equal to the amount of time the average driver in Piscataquis County spends between potholes.

- Commissioner of Education: Fifteen minutes and change.

So be sure to cast five “yes” votes on Nov. 6. Then run screaming from the booth and set up camp in the woods somewhere until everything gets back to normal.

No comments: