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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media


In addition to the gubernatorial election on November 7th, there will also be three ballot referendum questions on the rolls. Here we will outline the three questions and offer brief commentary.

QUESTION 1: Wine sales in food stores

This proposed law would allow cities and towns to issue licenses for food stores to sell wine.

Unless you are a wine merchant or a member of the temperance movement, there is no immediately pressing reason to vote against this measure. It would give cities and towns the option of allowing their supermarkets and “small food stores” (read: convenience stores) to sell wine (but, evidently, not beer). It would save consumers extra expense in travel and allow for greater convenience and choice.

An objection could be raised to say that convenience store clerks are by and large not properly trained to recognize false identification and underage buyers. Also, having liquor more readily available both to minors and adult buyers raises the possibility of increased alcohol abuse and all that it entails. Regardless, most states in the nation already sell liquor at their small food stores and still somehow manage to keep their economies running and their citizens alive. We suggest a YES vote on Question One.

YES: www.WineAtFoodStores.com

NO: www.noonquestionone.com

QUESTION 2: Party nominations

Allow a candidate to be nominated for the same office by more than one political party or political designation in the same election.

Question 2 supporters Mass Ballot Freedom Campaign claim, “this initiative will give you the freedom to support third parties while still voting for a candidate with a real chance of winning.”

So you want to have your cake and eat it? Great. Question 2 will allow candidates to run as members of their own parties even while they run under another ticket- and, the extra party they run on doesn’t even need to be an established third party. Joe Schmucko can run as a Republican even while he is on the ballot with the Free Donuts Party. Therefore, if Democrat Charley Noballs and Schmucko were locked in a stalemate, each with 45% of the vote, the 10% Schmucko receives from the Donuts Party would be the decisive factor.

The idea of a viable third party is a welcome one, but third party candidacies should not be sock puppets for either of the two major contenders. Allowing candidates to contrive new parties and run on those platforms in addition to existing party affiliations seems superfluous. A candidate should run according to affiliation, not according to whatever hot-button issue they wish to exploit in order to garner votes. And what is to stop a candidate from running on a third ticket? Or a fourth? This law would only clog up the ballot and, we sense, allow openings for dirty tricks. The ballots are fine the way they are; they don’t need to be “improved”. We suggest a NO vote on Question Two.

YES: www.massballotfreedom.com

NO: The Honorable Anthony W. Petrucelli, Chairman, House Committee on Election Laws. (617) 722-2080

QUESTION 3: Child-care provider bargaining

Allow licensed and other authorized providers of child-care in private homes under the state’s subsidized child care system to bargain collectively with the state.

This concerns workers in the childcare industry, and would allow them to collectively bargain under union ordinances with the State legislature. Union membership would bring about greater safety standards and increase the ability of workers to negotiate with the legislature for improved benefits and compensation packages. Currently they bargain individually on a contractor basis.

Union representation would improve the ability of caretakers to attend to their professional tasks without the worry of having to regularly renegotiate their contracts. It could also result in bureaucratization, and situations where the union’s word carries greater weight than the caretaker’s in parental concerns. Nonetheless, we suggest a YES vote on Question Three.

YES: Andrew Tripp, Campaign for our Children’s Future. (617) 241-3300

NO: Associate Commissioner for Coordination and Outreach, Department of Early Education and Care. (617) 988-6600