Why I vote “no” on (almost) all California ballot propositions, even if I agree with them
Michael Levinson
35952

At this point, the net franchise of each voter is so small, and the zietgiest so reactive, I doubt there can be any serious discussion of coherent policy. Drug law reform, tax reform, police reform, the coming wave of technological upheaval and so on, require subtle remedies and an ability for the public to discuss a broad range of solutions. Those are both impossible under the current system of representation. Its astounding how little thought goes toward actual problems. Few people listen to discerning careful judgements and no one discusses innovative policy. Referendums provide a blunt tool for getting done what can not otherwise be accomplished by patient people, who are easy to outun. Democratic government, at the moment, is a combination of initeria and fits of histrionic reactive panic. Considered policy is I think I a naive expectation. Thus Brexit. A solution was found by referendum. England is now on a course. It has made a alteration. It can not be remotely considered reform, but the disfunctional EU model has been abandoned. A careful government would have done it differently, congently and deliberately and prehaps wouldn’t have left the EU, but reformed it. But huge democracies such as we have, can’t make those desirable strategic decisions. Referendums aren’t perfect, but they can break the impasses that block some sort of progress. I’m afraid precious distintions of efficacy simply aren’t pertinent. I think your view is that government is far more effective than it actually is. There has to be a way of by-passing inert legislatures. Until people actually start behaving like citizens instead of being so politically inert, there’s very little else to do.