Monday, May 08, 2006

Bilingual Ballots - Bone-Head alert

A bunch of Republic House members are being bone-heads. They have announced a proposal to ban bilingual ballots. There are two reasons why this is stupid, one of which is political and the other practical.

The political problem is that this will piss off a lot of legitimate US Citizens, some of whom only speak English.

The practical problem is ballot measures and initiatives. To become a naturalized US Citizen you are supposed to speak at least rudimentary English. I believe this is a good thing. But the practical reality is that even educated native English speakers have trouble parsing these things we are asked to vote on. To expect someone who learned English as an adult to be able to understand these things in English is simply not reasonable. I would rather print ballots in Spanish and wind up with more voters having the possibility of being able to express their will than be all nativist and have people voting for things they can't possibly understand.

Build a wall, fine employers, kick out people who rob/steal/rape/murder, figure out some reasonable solution to increasing legal immigration and leave the bilingual ballots alone.


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