Mr. Peter Porcupine Explains It All For You
Did you know there were ballot questions?
There are three of them, and Porcupine opposes them all. If that is sufficient for you, good day. If you need further information, please read on.
Question One would allow the sale of wine in food stores, subject to local licensing laws. Porcupine says ‘food stores’ because proponents say grocery stores, and opponents say convenience stores. The proposed law defines a “food store” as a retail vendor, such as a grocery store, supermarket, shop, club, outlet, or warehouse-type seller, that sells food to consumers to be eaten elsewhere (which must include meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, fresh fruit and produce, and other specified items), and that may sell other items usually found in grocery stores. Most gas station convenience store would probably qualify. Many who oppose the question believe that such food stores may not be able to properly control liquor, but they sell cigarettes, and do a decent job of controlling those sales to minors.
Porcupine opposes the question for local economic reasons. He is a proud Chamber of Commerce member, and regards local package stores as community businesses. He had also opposed the Sunday sale of liquor, as small businesses found it hard to stay open and the chain stores had an unfair advantage. Now, to compete with supermarkets and gas stations for wine sales – the fastest growing and most lucrative type of liquor sales, now that distilled spirits are out of favour – will put many of these small businesses under. Porcupine sees no reason to put Bass River Liquors out of business in order to enrich Deb Goldberg’s Stop and Shop chain any further. Package store profits stay in town, and chain store profits are spirited away. Vote no for your neighborhood business’s sake.
Question Two is the most confusing. It would bring to the state a phenomenon called ‘fusion voting’, in which every candidate can appear upon every party’s ballot, and the winners are chosen by adding them all up. The idea is to encourage the proliferation of small, boutique parties – the Working Families Party and the Constitution Party are big in New York where this is done. Porcupine does not wish to encourage the trend towards extremism in political parties, and prefers to have closed primaries instead, forcing unenrolled voters to pick a party in order to vote, not encourage chaos in an already shaky voting system.
Question Three is the one with the most hidden agenda since ‘Ban Cruel Leghold Traps (and by the way, change the composition of the Fish and Wildlife Board)’ in 2000. Ostensibly, it would allow providers of home day care to unionize, even though they are independent contractors and business in their own right, and lobby the state for better reimbursement rates for day care. However, Massachusetts is not a right to work state. Home day care providers who do not WANT to be forced to join a union, and who perhaps have only 1 - 2 state subsidized children out of six charges may eliminate them from the slots, making it harder for mothers with day care vouchers to find care. Most women doing home day care WANT to be independent contractors - if they didn't they would probably work at a Center instead. They want flexibility in their operation and pay for it with a reduced margin. Why would they want to pay dues to the SEIU, and cope with ANOTHER behemoth bureaucracy? What happens when they call for a strike, for something they don't even want? Do they ditch their private pay clients? Far better to eliminate the state slots.
Also, legally, this is a questionable precedent. What's next - barbers, because the state regulates them? Veterinarians, who are ALSO closely regulated for practices? These are independent businesses, with no relationship to one another and different costs and expenses – and yet 50% plus one would force them all to join the SEIU. These are businesses, not employees, and for that reason alone the question should be voted down. The very real possibility that the most vulnerable women who depend upon day care vouchers would lose care is another excellent reason.
Here is a link to the Secretary of State’s web page explaining the questions – although if you Vote Porcupine, you’ll never go wrong!