Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

California is going bankrupt. Behind its economic trouble lies serious political dysfunction.

What to do?

To hear some Golden State legislators and experts talk, the problem can be blamed squarely on the people and their lawmaking power through the state’s initiative process.

While initiatives like Prop 13 and term limits may bedevil the Sacramento insiders, they remain popular among voting Californians. Voters don’t see handing over all power to the politicians as a magic solution.

Others suggest California is so ungovernable that it should be split into two, a North and a South California. Why? To make the insolvent state start completely anew. And to reduce the massive scale of decision-making in what is by far our country’s most populous state.

I have a better solution, which more and more folks from across the political spectrum seem to be considering. I suggest doubling the size of California’s legislature. Or tripling. Or more.

California’s legislative districts are huge, dwarfing those in other states. The ratio of voters to Assembly reps is 455,000 to one. The ratio of state senators to constituents is 900,000 to one.

The balance of interests between citizens and their representatives is all out of whack. When constituencies grow too large, politicians feel answerable to no one.

Smaller districts give voters more relative power — and legislators relatively less. Now that sounds like the right track.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Don Holloman says:

    I am one Californian who does not believe that a North/South cut would do anything for us California Conservatives. An East/West split makes more sense to us. Let the Liberals have San Diego, Los Angeles and the whole North Coastline. The Conservatives are inland, not in the population centers. Then cut the legislative districts.

  2. Robert C. Tullius says:

    The uneducated electorate, not only in Calif. but nationally will, increasingly, elect those polititions who convince them they will get something free. As this segment of our electorate bcomes larger the less chance our system has of survival.
    Education is the only chance for survival, which is the first thing the Calif. legislature suggested cutting.

  3. mike from tucson says:

    Paul, ya gotta be kidding! If ya double the size of the California government ya double the amount of self serving pols and double their self-serving budget busting pork laden bills.
    Spreading the load won’t work. Californians don’t want the gravy train to stop! They just want it to pass up the neighbor’s house on it’s way to their’s!

  4. Richard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters says:

    Expanding the CA legislature is an excellent idea. But we need to go further.

    1. Return to a part-time legislature. “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.”

    2. Slash the pay and perks for each legislator. And slash their office budgets. At worst, spend no more in the aggregate than we now do for far fewer representatives.

    3. Proportional representation in one legislative house, to overcome the grotesque gerrymandering of the CA districts — and the district fiefdom mentality.

  5. Richard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters says:

    My IDEAL CA legislature would consist of EIGHT different houses, each with a different selection criteria. Possible criteria (one per legislative body):
    Proportional representation
    Geographic location

    The point is, for a bill to become law, it should pass all eight legislative bodies. THAT alone would probably eliminate 80% or more of the laws passed each year. And we wouldn’t miss any of ’em.

  6. Joseph Towell says:

    Some of the people should move

    to other states.

  7. Paul Jacob says:

    Mike has a point. My idea is to double (or triple) the number of legislators on the same budget. NO INCREASE. That means legislators will get less in salary and office expenses.

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