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Initiatives That Should’ve Been on the Washington Ballot

9 November 2010 Seattle 3,762 views No CommentPrint This Post Print This Post Email This Post Email This Post

Last week, Washington State voted to preserve its historic prohibition-era blue laws, took steps to insure that Tim Eyman will be in our lives for at least 30 more years, and added several more tall and impressive hurdles between Seattle’s underfunded services and the cash they desperately need. It’s a great series of first steps towards this city’s inevitable destruction, but I fear that this recent spate of initiatives doesn’t go far enough; they won’t effectively close all the schools or compel neighbors to grow closer around a communal pit of burning tires.

If I had deeper pockets, the following initiatives would have been on the Washington State ballot:

An initiative that replaces the State’s archaic system of collecting votes with a really bitchin’ Facebook app. Results could be viewed in real time, and you could create dozens of sock-puppet accounts on the fly if there’s a danger of your favored candidate losing. That’s real democracy; hell, it works for “American Idol,” and that has the word “American: right there in the title. Bonus: After you’ve cast your Facebook vote, you get a fistful of farm cash and you get to find out which “Tron: Legacy” character you most closely resemble.

An initiative that would make all taxes purely voluntary. I’ve no doubt that the reason so many people don’t want to pay their taxes is because they feel like they have to in order to have police, fire, schools and infrastructure … dumb stuff like that, you know, that you never really use. (When was the last time your local school was set afire by street gangs? Honestly.) By making taxes voluntary, we totally remove that finger-wagging stigma! And so many more people will pay so much more money. Just look what this financial model has done for the arts: I mean, we’ve got a symphony and a ballet and … and … other arts stuff. I’ve never paid for any of it myself, but other people do, and Seattle’s arts organizations never have any money problems at all!

An initiative that would replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a pre-aged, two-story highway structure that completely resembles the existing viaduct down to the last detail. Through the use of technologies we could probably explain if we wanted you to care, the new Viaduct can be installed in place of the old one within minutes — even while you’re looking at it! The main differences between the new Viaduct and the existing one is that the new one is “new,” largely because we’ll put the word “new” in front of it whenever we describe it. Also, the city and state aren’t liable for anything if it falls down and kills everybody, because it’s “new,” and new construction falling down isn’t our fault. Vote for this. Vote vote vote. Do it. I swear this one isn’t sponsored by evil incarnate; it’s more concerned citizens like yourself.

An initiative that would put the Ballard/West Seattle monorail on the ballot every year, just so we can have the pleasure of voting it up and down from one year to the next. Seems a shame to let all those “Not in My Backyard” signs in the warehouse go to waste.

An initiative that would erect a 25-foot wall between First Belltown and Second Belltown. Frankly, I’m annoyed by the tanned and buffed Tula’s and Frontier Room crowds overspilling into Mama’s, Juju and Shorty’s, as I’m sure the First Belltown crowd would be equally annoyed if I ever came near First Avenue on a Friday night. I’m kidding, of course! You jerks would never let me in.

An initiative to transform the Seattle Central Library into a Target store. Yeah, I know books are important and all that, but we all have iPads, right? And Kindles? Meanwhile, if we want a Michael Graves-designed toilet plunger, we have to go all the way to Northgate or West Seattle. I think that’s unconstitutional, maybe; my Google results were inconclusive. Wish there was somebody I could call to get clear on this.

An initiative that would construct a Thunderdome-like arena in Westlake Center. I dunno. Seems like it would be a good thing to have.

Geoff Carter

PHOTO BY MICHAEL HANSCOM

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