Wednesday, May 27, 2009

California, government as good as its people

It should come as no surprise that the California Supreme Court in its ruling on Proposition 8--a voter initiated, voter approved amendment to the state constitution codifying marriage between a man and a woman as the only legally recognized state of matrimony thereby cutting the so-called LGBT community out of the marrying business--handed down a decision yesterday guaranteed to please no one and solve nothing.

In their infinite wisdom the California Supreme Court justices decided to keep Proposition 8's constitutional limitation of marriage while recognizing the legitimacy of the 18,000 lesbos and queers who had the foresight to get "married" before last November's election. So of course the religious right is disappointed that the state can't tear up the marriage licenses of those 18,000 same married carpet-munchers and fags while the rest of California's unmarried dykes and fairies have their tits in an uproar because they can't legally march down the wedding aisle.

A base of what ails California is one of the late Nineteenth-early Twentieth Century Republican progressive and Democratic populists' best ideas gone very, very wrong, direct public initiative and referendum. From its inception in 1912 until 1978, Californians wisely used their initiative and referendum sparingly and only in the face of general legislative incompetence.
Proposition 13 changed this pattern.

The success of Proposition 13 marked the beginning of a new trend. The initiative was no longer viewed as a means to correct the Legislature. Rather, it became an instrument to govern. Between 1982 and 1988, voters passed 22 measures. In the 1990s, they passed 24 more. In the 20 years since Proposition 13, Californians passed more initiatives than in the preceding 6 1/2 decades.

Many of these measures further limited the Legislature's ability to govern.

The initiative remains popular among all segments of the California electorate. Liberals are still wedded to the dream of popular sovereignty, and once-skeptical conservatives embrace it as a way to remove many issues from the jurisdiction of elected officials.

In truth, the initiative has, in effect, strangled the republic and made California less governable.
Why the California Initiative System is Undermining Democracy, By Jules Tygiel,, October 31, 2005

Since California's initiative and referendum system are only as good as its citizens one wonders how many heterosexual, serial monogamous "Christians" voted for Prop 8 to keep the "light-in-the-loafers" crowd out of the state's overworked divorce courts? Then again, how many of California's minority citizens, victims of past and on-going racial discrimination, voted for Prop 8 because homosexuality is taboo in "their" community (RuPaul, ain't gay, he just dresses that way!)

With the passage of Proposition 8 Californian got what they deserved.

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