The impending financial collapse of the state of California has drawn a lot of weblogging attention. I am firmly in the “blame the voters” camp.
One can look at Governover Schwarzenegger’s political trajectory to see this. The Governator tried to get some reforms enacted in 2004 but was crushed at the polls. The voters made a clear statement that they had no interest in accepting any of the downsides of maintaining the fiscal health of the state and the Governator (understandably, but not to his credit) gave the voters what they wanted, good and hard.
Even the putative “voter revolt” in the rejection of the recent ballot initiatives is much less than it has been portrayed. The turnout was, to the best of my knowledge, less than 25%. So it could easily be that a majority still favors high spending and intrusive government. It’s easily possible that every single “no” vote was from someone who also voted against then candidate Obama and nothing, really, has changed.
I also want to dismiss the complaints of “jerrymandering”. I certainly think jerrrymandering is a Bad Thing and should be avoided as much as possible, but ultimately it’s just an excuse. People still vote, the elected still get the majority of votes of voters in their actual district, and the districts must contain roughly equal numbers of citizens. In a state where a legislastive majority is held by a thin margin, jerrymandering can mean frustrating the actual will of the voters. But given California’s massive party imbalance, that’s clearly not the case in that state.
As far as I can see, California is still checked in to the Hotel, the voters still suffering from reality dysfunction, wanting low taxes with high spending, extensive government economic intervention without affecting business, and strong public labor unions with effecient government services. Good luck with that!