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I voted...

...although I'm not too excited about it.

A good man (and a good bureaucrat) is going to lose to a movie-star flip-flopper.

The folks who keep saying Democrats are paternalistic big-government ninnies pushing their way into private lives are probably going to get their initiative to make the state to push its way into families when abortion is involved. The irony is that good and effective parents don't need this law, and it will give bad parents a chance to fuck up their kids even more.

Big tobacco and big oil have probably bought the loss of propositions that would have harmed them.

The initiative system, as it stands, is a total mess. It takes a greater majority to raise taxes than it takes to amend the state constitution. A momentary mood of the electorate can be cast into permanent law.

I think we need a pair of constitutional amendments.
  1. Yeah, the initiative process was a populist response to corrupt and unresponsive legislators. They've turned into a way that lazy and unresponsive legislators can avoid an issue. Initiative Statutes need a sunset date after which they're subject to legislative tinkering. 10 years is a satisfying number, and would allow some turnover in the legislature and administration.
  2. The constitution is a mess, riddled with crap. It shouldn't be this easy to change or expand the constition. Constitutional amendments need to be approved by a 2/3 majority.

I don't see this happening, though.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 7th, 2006 10:51 pm (UTC)
There was a Commission set up to try and work out a revised California Constitution -- which is one of the longest and most bug-riddled in the nation -- which, as far as I can tell, gave a report in 1995 or thereabouts and vanished. This sounds similar to how in the late 1970s there was a WSFS Inc. Committee that presented a bunch of material that the WSFS Business Meeting read, said, "thanks," and then failed to try to implement.

I agree that the state's governing document needs a comprehensive overhaul, but I don't see it happening. Any particular group whose pet clause was threatened would be out there trying to block changes.

I think I'd raise the percentage needed to amend the state constitution to 60% (3/5, not 2/3) and lower the percentage needed to impose new local taxes to 55%.

The interesting thing is that, from a constitutional law perspective, the vote needed to adopt an entirely new constitution is generally considered to be only a simple majority, even if the vote required to amend that document is some sort of supermajority. The first precedent I could cite for this would be the current US Constitution, which came into effect once nine states had ratified it despite the fact that the previous governing document (the Articles of Confederation) clearly stated that it took a unanimous vote to amend it.
Nov. 7th, 2006 11:55 pm (UTC)
I cannot stand the CA initiative process. It is beyond broken. Can we start an initiative drive to abolish the initiatives? Seems like all it takes to get one on the ballot is a bunch of money & some nabobs to sign things.
Nov. 8th, 2006 08:40 am (UTC)
I cannot believe that a Republican keeps getting elected as governor in FREAKING CALIFORNIA. What the hell is wrong there?
Nov. 8th, 2006 09:17 pm (UTC)
It's not like it hasn't happened before. The great thing is in CA, even conservative republican governors end up having to move to the middle if they want to survive.

The Gubernator is authentically a moderate republican (not a "moderate republican" like the national party thinks). It just took a major failure last year to convince him that he needed to flip from being a party hack to being a party sellout.

Even as a sellout, he's still a republican, so he's going to get the conservative central valley votes (because who are they going to vote for, Angelides?). As a sellout, he's going to get the moderate votes that he didn't get in his crazy special election initiative drive because he's turned over a new leaf.

There's also the movie star factor. He gets attention and has influence on the national and international scene that other CA governors haven't. Some people will vote for him just because of that.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )