...but I sure wish they'd send a coherent message!
A few years ago, California's governor Arnold Schwarzenegger asked the voters to approve a series of propositions that would slash the state's expenditures, mainly by reducing services provided by the state. That series of propositions lost at the ballot box. So Arnie said, very publicly, “The voters have spoken!” – and went on a spending binge that made the recalled Gray Davis look like a miser.
Yesterday, Schwarzenegger asked the voters to approve a series of propositions that would raise the money to pay for this spending binge. These propositions lost by a wide margin (the one winning proposition in the table at right would limit lawmaker's salaries if they couldn't pass a budget).
Now don't get me wrong – I'm absolutely delighted that these propositions went down in flames, and I'm hoping (seriously!) that it leads to a bankruptcy in California. I think that's likely the only path that will lead to some badly needed replacements in the team of loonies up in Sacremento.
But think about the message that “we, the people” have just sent Sacremento. We've said “give us all those expensive benefits and programs”, but “we don't want to pay for them”. Rather a juvenile pair of messages, wouldn't you say?
Which is why I sometimes despair about the long term viability of democracy. Armed anarchy sometimes seems like an attractive alternative...