In the last week and a half, two of the initiatives on the special election, Prop 77 and Prop 80, have been both removed and placed back on the ballot. Here at Speak Out California, we have to agree with the L.A. Times’ Michael Hiltzik that all of this madness points to a larger underlying problem: California’s initiative process is a mess. He sums it up well:
Certainly, reform is urgently needed. At least 65 initiatives are currently circulating for signatures. Many propose crude or self-interested nostrums for complicated problems, raising the specter of a California governed by laws and constitutional amendments written by bozos and billionaires.
As initiatives have proliferated, they also have become more complex. It used to be rare for an initiative to run to more than 1,000 words. Last year’s stem cell initiative, Proposition 71, comprised nearly 11,000, which explains why the public continues to be unpleasantly surprised by what it voted for.