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Does California need a new Constitution?

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 at 9:59 am in Election reform.

I am in Sacramento today at what’s being billed as a summit of reformers interested in convening a California Constitutional convention.

The event centers around the question: Has California become ungovernable?

Countless examples suggest that it may be true: Major structural budget problems, water, healthcare and prisons, just to name a few. Competing interest groups coupled with partisan gridlock and the sheer size of the problems has conspired to

Ideas include stripping the two-thirds vote threshold to pass a budget, instant run-off for state officeholders, open primaries, unicameral or parliamentary-style legislature, ending term limits, along with campaign finance and initiative reforms.

I’ll be here all day and I’ll report back later on some of the more interesting ideas and who wants to do what.

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  • John W

    We are in deeper trouble than we even know. We need the reforms, and a constitutional convention is definitely the way to go about it. But, if we can’t even get a budget done, I don’t see how we get to any agreement on an overhauled constitution even if there is a convention. As a kid in the 60′s, I lived through a constitutional convention in Michigan. It was successful. The leader who made it happen was George Romney (the father), who then became a very progressive Republican governor.

  • CAW916

    I think we should do the following:

    1. Ban all political parties.
    2. Ban campaign contributions from special interest groups.
    3. Make legislature positions unpaid volunteers.
    4. Repeal the Dills Act.
    5. Establish performance-based lifetime civil service employment.
    6. Establish a financial code of ethics for all lawmakers
    7. Require financial management training for all politicians in government.
    8. Only native born Californians can be Governor.
    9. Most importantly, ban the Big 5. Five people should never have this much power.

    Sounds like a good start to me.