Should-Read: Laura Tyson and Lenny Mendonca: Facing the Four Structural Threats to US Democracy
Should-Read: Laura Tyson and Lenny Mendonca: Facing the Four Structural Threats to US Democracy: “As California has shown, structural barriers to good governance can be eliminated through citizen-driven reforms…
…The California legislature has cleaned up redistricting, introduced “top two primaries” and an aggressive disclosure system, reformed term limits, eliminated a supermajority rule for state budgetary measures, and improved the ballot-initiative process. As a result, the legislature has become dramatically more effective, and its approval rating has gone from just 14% seven years ago to 57% today–its highest level since 1988. There is little reason to believe that Congress will reform itself. But if the movement for progressive federalism continues to gain momentum and push through meaningful state- and local-level reforms, federal lawmakers will not be able to maintain the status quo indefinitely. With a renewed confidence in democracy, citizens can take action to ensure that elected officials are governed by the right incentives, and motivated to pursue bipartisan solutions to the country’s problems.
If California can do it, so can other states. America’s founders created the Tenth Amendment precisely because they worried about dysfunction in the capital. It’s time we used it.