Not everyone is glum about the outcome of Tuesday's election, but you would hardly know that from some of the analysis. John Arthur Wilson is right, I believe, that there is no sign of a large populist uprising out there, but I wouldn't, as he says, say the election reflected "disillusionment." You know, it is possible that a "no" vote on a bad ballot measure, like Prop. 1, is a positive thing. There is always a tendency to suggest that anyone who is skeptical of a big plan is a naysaying grump. But the fact is, as I've said before, our region is making progress on all kinds of fronts--more rail, more bus riders, more bike lanes--but it's incremental, sensible, and targeted. It's not all "disillusionment," it's also common sense. Remember: the onus is on those who make big plans to convince the voters of their wisdom. The Prop. 1 backers didn't make their case. That's it. I didn't vote for I-960, but am not depressed about it's passage. Partly because we all know the drill: Tim Eyman measure passes, goes to court while the lawmakers undermine, undercut, and try to wiggle around it. By the time it gets struck down by the courts, it's expired. Even Eyman knows his measures aren't really law: they're essentially advisory votes, though ones that have to be taken seriously. Even if you don't like I-960, the message its passage sent can be interpreted as reasonable and sane: voters want checks and balances, they want to be consulted, and they want lawmakers to be careful with a buck. I suspected I-960 would pass when I read the wording in the voter's pamphlet: do you want a higher bar for approval of more taxes. That sounds perfectly reasonable, especially with an economic squeeze on the middle class. The devil is in the details, but not so much in the concept. Another rap against the vote: low turnout. Listen, the public speaks at the polls. If people don't go to the polls, they are ceding their right to "speak" in the election (they can always take to the streets, but I don't see any torch-bearing crowds). Public sentiment is in the hands of those who vote. Given that there are no signs (so far) of election corruption or mismanagement, it's no use discussing what would have happened "if." Besides, pre-election polling indicated that Prop. 1 was in trouble and that I-960's provisions were popular. Did the tiny percentage of people who turned out really not reflect public sentiment? They probably did. There was lots of good news in the election: new blood at the city council and further proof that incumbents can be beaten by non-celebrity challengers; a big sweep for reform of reform at the school board; a kick in the teeth for the insurance lobby. If that adds up to malaise, I'll take malaise.