Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The dangers of Californication

With apologies to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers let me explain.

The great state of California is stuffed, doomed, financially dead though it doesn't know it yet.

Why ?

Because of just the sort of reforms that are being banded in our media like this was a super sized student Union general meeting. ( You may never have been to one - in which case your quite normal, where I went to Uni they always struggled to get even a small proportion of the student population. The aim of the right of centre students was essentially to frustrate the adolescent and middle class guilt ridden ramblings of the left who were busy planning their careers in politics. )

California has recall ballots for its governor ( that's how old Arnie got it ).

They have primaries for their candidates ( which means, oddly enough, only the extremists get elected ).

They have referendums on everything and anything.

This makes California impossible to financially govern. They are in real trouble. ( The Economist spells it all out in far greater detail here ).

Now those student politicians whose meeting you never went to are government ministers and journalists. They suddenly see a way out of having to take the blame for destroy the country's finances, flipping houses and being rather too "tax efficient" for the red blooded socialists they claim to be. It time to play the game of voting systems and "constitutional reform" - by which they mean lets change the rules so we don't loose.

But these changes will have deep and profound an unintended impacts. ( Indeed they want the tactical impact of stopping the next Conservative government from being able to govern ).

What we have now is everyone with a scheme that they never normally could have dreamed of getting support for trying to take advantage of the temporary unbalanced nature of our politics to pull a quick one whilst people are distracted and desperate.

And perhaps of equal danger are the trolls of the hard left with their ideology of hate and eternal planning to take advantage of any moment of public unrest to drive us into the socialist purgatory that they so wish to eternally punish the middle classes in.

Just like in their days of student politics Fib Dems, Fabians, and Labour careerists call for new voting systems and changes in the name of the people ( who never turn up or understand ), but with their calculated wish to change the system so it can only ever deliver answers they like as their true aim.

These are dangerous times.

PS This doesn't mean that no reform is the right way to go. Only that the anger over expenses is being as shameless abused as was the allowance and expenses system.

I'm generally in favour of David Cameron's suggested reforms, except perhaps fixed term parliaments - which I think fail to take into account the need for a government to sometimes go to the country. My earlier suggestions of fixed financial licenses for governments would be far better.

Further: See Fraser Nelson's take on what is awaiting the next government to see how relevant this all is here...


Letters From A Tory said...

California has contributed to its own downfall through reckless state spending, not through a recall system to boot out a deeply unpopular governor!

Man in a Shed said...

@LFAT - yes, but California's political system makes control of reckless state spending impossible.

Take a look at the Economist article - it explains how individual measures, which occur in other states, but in few in combination, make control of their budget politically impossible.

Interestingly Churchill's view of democracy was as a system to remove unjust governments, not to represent the peoples view precisely. We need clear thinking about what is to be achieved and why it will work.

The danger is that those who wish to lead the baying mob will devise a democratic system that lets then do it.

Its important to see this point as some people who wish to make opposition to their ideas impossible are trying to hijack the our constitution right now.

The desire to create a left wing century based on a perpetual governing coalition of Lib Dems and Labour was originally Blair's plan, before he won too big to be able to implement it.