California voters are faced with 11 initiatives on next month’s ballot–four supported by lone millionaires with their own ideas and interests. Critics say the initiative process is not direct democracy any more but a system to make laws for those who can afford it.
But polls show Californians are not ready to give up their ballot initiative process, even if they have more doubts than they used to. Last year, 53 percent of the state’s voters told the Field Poll that statewide ballot propositions are a good thing, down from 83 percent in 1979. And only 33 percent of California voters told the Public Policy Institute of California they had “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust and confidence in the ability of the state’s elected officials to craft public policy, compared with 44 percent who said they trusted fellow voters to make policy decisions in the voting booth.
A lively discussion on what we love and hate about our complicated, powerful, messy system of governance in California, on Which Way, LA? is below: