California’s Proposition system is a massive failure. Throwing together dozens of pieces of legislation (some well-considered, some banal, some shortsighted ) onto a ballot crowded with other elections that most may have considered more thoroughly (i.e. presidential, mayoral, city initiatives, local parcel taxes, etc.) perpetuates a system in which too many people (myself included) vote on concepts about which we know very little, and, more importantly, about whose consequences we may know nothing, at all. (Parentheses!)
It is highly unlikely that Propositions will ever go away; it is much easier to give citizens more power and privileges than to take them back. (For example, Social Security only came about during the twentieth century — can you imagine the uproar if the government actually got rid of it?)
Therefore, I propose that the minimum passage rate for California’s propositions be lifted from the current 50% + 1 to 75%.
We can probably never strip California’s citizens of this silly Proposition thing, but we can at least ensure that said legislation becomes much, much harder to pass. Raising the bar would prevent controversial legislation from passing, while still allowing no-brainers to roll through.
Even if we raised the minimum, we’d still have issues — just because the media paints certain ideas as controversial, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are, and just because we the populace think something is a no-brainer, doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ve thought of all of the unintended consequences.
If you can think of a better way, feel free to shout out! That said, I think the most practical way to enhance our Proposition system is to raise the minimum necessary votes to 75% or greater.