Will Californians Vote to Know Less Tomorrow?

It's a bight warm, sunny day here in Powell River BC. The eagles, seagulls and Pancho the wonder dog joined me an hour or so ago at the beach to watch a beachcomber pulling logs off the beach at high-tide. The salmon are running in Lang Creek, long chains of geese honk overhead on their way south, yet a grey sadness sits at the corner of my attention this morning. No matter how sunny it is it can't hide the question - Will the Californians vote to know less tomorrow?

Tomorrow is election day down south of the border and there's only a few places, a few issues where a person's vote even matters anymore because the corporations and banks own the process and the parties everywhere. There is though in  24 states a system where citizens, if they get enough signatures, can bring questions - propositions - onto the ballots in those states, There's a number of interesting propositions on the ballots. Colorado and Washington St. are voting on outright legalization of marijuana [hooray], Massachusetts is voting on assisted suicide, Californians will vote on capital punishment and mandatory labeling of GMO foods.

California's Prop 37, 'The Right to Know', isn't a referendum on genetically modified foods. It's not a ban, or a warning, it's a label. Prop 37 simply adds a line of ink to a label -- as is currently required for 3,000 other ingredients -- so consumers know which products have been altered in a laboratory the same as the citizens of 61 other countries do. "Four weeks ago," reports Reuters, "the labeling initiative was supported by more than two-thirds of Californians who said they intended to vote on November 6, according to a poll from the California Business Roundtable and Pepperdine University's School of Public Policy. On Tuesday, their latest poll showed support had plummeted to 39 percent, while opposition had surged to almost 51 percent."

The drive to label GMO Foods has been undermined by Industry's 'Big Bucks'. The campaign against the right to know, financed by the chemical industry's biggest players, has relied on three essential components: unlimited resources, a willingness to repeatedly lie, and a willingness to double and triple down on those lies-even when they are debunked by independent fact checkers.

The grayness intruding on this sunny day comes from the realization that money can talk so loudly, that mass media can be so hypnotizing, that even the best of people, and Californians are among them, can be convinced that 'up' is 'down', can be convinced to vote against common sense and their own best interests, can choose to want to know less. There's still hope the proposition will pass and, if it then passes the legal challenges, GMO foods will be labeled in California and beyond. But win or lose Prop 37 has shown the power of money to reshape the convictions of millions of Californians, a grey day for sure.