You won't find anyone in the political establishment arguing that California's current system of governing is working. Yet every reasonable reform aimed at improving governance in the Golden State is challenged by some special interest.
It seems like gridlock is working for some people or they wouldn't be trying so hard to keep the status quo. There are a couple of recent examples.
Everyone knew that California's redistricting system was rigged to keep incumbents in office. But when voters finally took redistricting from the politicians and gave it to an independent citizens commission, lawmakers tried to block the change with a misleading ballot measure.
And when the voters decided in June that the primary election system needed changing, the open-primary solution was quickly attacked in court.
Clearly, there are people inside California's dysfunctional government making a nice living out of not getting things done.
But the momentum right now seems to be with the reformers, despite the best efforts of opponents to keep their cozy systems in place.
The independent commission doing redistricting has begun its work, and the open-primary system was confirmed by the state Supreme Court. There undoubtedly will be other legal challenges, but 2010 was a very good year for those interested in improving government in California.
Redistricting reform and open primaries will help because more moderate candidates have a better opportunity to emerge. Moderate candidates, as opposed to those on the far right or far left of the political spectrum, are more willing to compromise, and get things done.
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