Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying...

I don't recall any California election in which I've participated where every statewide proposition was defeated. But that's what happened last night in the 2005 Special Election, where all eight propositions failed. No proposal received more than 47.4% of the "yes" votes (that was Proposition 73, the "Parental Notification of Minor's Abortion" initiative). The worst defeat was Proposition 80, the "Electricity Reregulation" initiative, which mustered only 34.3% of the vote. These were the two that worried me the most, although I can't say I was fond of any of them. I might have been able to tolerate Proposition 77, which would have taken redistricting out of the hands of the legislature and put it into the hands of a panel of retired judges, but overall I could see little to be gained by any of these ballot proposals.

The Secretary of State's web page that I referenced above shows some interesting maps of the distribution of "yes" and "no" votes on each proposition. Some of them make the ideological divide among Californians pretty obvious.

As I've said elsewhere, I'm starting to reach the conclusion that California as a single state is essentially ungovernable. While I've been a fan of various split-the-state proposals for a long time, being a native of (ahem) "Superior California," I'm starting to think that two states would not be enough. There may be as many as six or seven, depending on how you slice it. The northern and northwestern counties could join southern Oregon in the State of Jefferson. I think Modoc, Alpine, Mono, and Inyo (and possibly parts of Placer, Sierra, and El Dorado) Counties would be happier as part of Nevada. I'm sure y'all can find other logical chopping points.

Mind you, Los Angeles would never let Inyo and Mono Counties get away from a state they don't dominate, lest they lose control of a large chunk of their water supply.

This is all a fantasy, of course. Conventional wisdom is that the other states would never allow Californians to have additional senators, and it requires both the state(s) involved and the consent of Congress to redraw state boundaries. Such carve-outs have happened a couple of times, when Maine was split from Massachusetts and when West Virginia seceded from Virginia after Virginia seceded from the USA. But they don't happen often, even when they make sense, such as when rivers change course and leave little enclaves of land on the "wrong side" of a river.
Tags: california, politics

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