Prop 6 is popular

The Texas Tribune reports that a recent poll taken on Prop 6, the water funding measure, finds the measure is very supportive among Texans. The poll also reported some other odds and ends, let me reprint the results and then delineate the implications below:

1. Do you support Prop 6?
55% YES
20% NO

2. Should the Legislature over Voters have the final say on this issue?
75% VOTERS
16% LEGISLATURE

The poll also offered a glimpse into some personal questions about the average polled Texan, including a few I felt really stood out.

3. What are your feelings about the bible?
38% Word of God, but not literal
35% Word of God, word-for-word literal
22% Word of Man

4. How important is religion in your life?
49% EXTREMELY IMPORTANT
29% SOMEWHAT IMPORTANT
10% NOT VERY IMPORTANT
13% NOT AT ALL IMPORTANT

5. How often do you go to church?
16% MORE THAN ONCE A WEEK
21% ONCE A WEEK
12% A FEW TIMES A MONTH
24% ONE OR TWO TIMES A YEAR
27% NEVER

First things first,I find the results on religion somewhat perplexing. A majority of Texans go to church no more than twice a year, yet the typical “How important is religion in your life” question would paint a very different picture. Make of it what you will.

Further, the Water funding question is not especially surprising. The “Yes on 6” campaign represents one of the most diverse coalitions assembled in recent memory in Texas. Rick Perry, Joe Straus, Wendy Davis and Kirk Watson all stand together, hand-in-hand, on this issue. At a certain point, it is one of self-interest. After all, these legislators all live in Austin, which will soon be sucked into the desert if something doesn’t happen on water infrastructure.

The election has provided an interesting perspective on what the Republican Party really thinks about climate change. This super-drought in Texas is obviously, at least in part, a result of climate change. While most Republicans, including the Governor, are aware of these problems, there is still a major contingent of Tea Party House members, typically eastern and ultra-religious, who fail to see our looming danger in an extend water crisis. Rep. David Simpson (R-Gregg County) appears to be their ringleader.

Lastly, the question over Voter versus Legislature control of major issues is not very surprising, given the strong Independent/Libertarian streak of Texas. By and large, Texans do not like seeing any government power out of their own reach. Personally, I find the Texas system very compelling, as a good compromise between the tyranny of the Republic (read: current Government Shutdown) and the tyranny of the Direct Democracy (read: Proposition 8). In Texas, approval from both the Legislature and the people are required for Constitutional Amendments. At the end of the day, that is a good thing.

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