Though the Democrats who run the failed state of California insist that Governor Jerry Brown is leading them to a new era of prosperity, the results are mixed at best. The state is riddled with public employee pension problems, environmental over-regulation, and high taxes, to list just a few.
The problem? The whole system of representative democracy is skewed to insiders. The ratio of voters to representatives is way too high — twice as high as the next nearest state.
The best thing California has going for it is the right of citizen initiative. Typically, it (and the voters) get blamed for the unwillingness of their “representatives” to stay within their means.
Enter Timothy Draper, Founder and Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a billionaire Silicon Valley professional. He has been promoting an initiative to split California into six smaller states: provisionally dubbed Jefferson (northern counties that have a long history of separatist unrest), Silicon Valley (which could become the richest per capita state in the union), North California (a coastal region from San Francisco south to Monterey County), Central California (a big expanse of many interior counties), West California (four west coast counties including Los Angeles), and South California (five counties including San Diego). Draper insists that his idea is the “something structural, something fresh” that the state needs to prevent further decline.
The initiative has received enough petition signatures to qualify for a 2016 ballot.
But is it a waste of time? Even if Californians vote for it in great numbers, the U.S. Constitution requires a formal request from the state legislature. And the California Assembly is not likely to cede so much power.
Which would provide another valuable lesson about how anti-Californian California’s leaders are.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.