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California Journal of Politics and Policy

Managing Editor: Lubenow, Gerald

Ed. by Citrin, Jack / Cain, Bruce / Noll, Roger

A Constitutional Convention Won't Produce the Reforms California Needs

John Sweeten1

1Retired county administrator

Citation Information: California Journal of Politics and Policy. Volume 2, Issue 2, ISSN (Online) 1944-4370, DOI: 10.2202/1944-4370.1063, February 2010

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While constitutional reform is essential for addressing the dysfunctionality that characterizes California government, it probably cannot be accomplished by means of a convention. Why? Because the same forces that have created our governance problems would be in a position to make sure their interests are protected in the convention process. A better approach would be to target strategic reforms through a series of voter initiatives that would mitigate the influence of special interests.Among the many strategic reforms needed, two of the most important would be (1) to increase the capacity of the legislature to make wise decisions, and (2) to create a decision-making process that would allow wise choices on the part of individual legislators to translate into collective action by the legislature.

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