USA Today is reporting on a plan that has been gathering steam in California to split the state into six. The new states would be called Jefferson, North California, Central California, West California, South California and Silicon Valley. But is this the right move? A lot of it depends on your viewpoint politically from what I’m seeing.
Break it down to basic principles. California is a huge state. The most populous one we have in America and it shows in every election. There are 55 electoral votes that the state gets and all of them have been a virtual lock for one party since the 1992 presidential election. In addition, the state itself is a 14 hour trip for someone from North to South. That would be the equivalent of driving from Kalamazoo, MI to Oklahoma City, OK. Think about the size of that, being administered by one government, one legislature that may or may not know the needs of everyone in the state.
Now think about how different it would be if the state were split into six. There would be six different capitols and six different legislatures that could better represent the people that they were elected to serve. Being that we are a representative republic, that should appeal to a lot of people, knowing that their voice and their concerns are more likely to be heard in their area.
The main debate on this comes down to a debate on what you believe the role of government should be and for some it will be about the 55 electoral votes that would no longer be a slam dunk for the Democratic Party. If you believe in a big government that provides for its people, then one giant state is what you want. If you believe that you have a better idea what you want versus the government, then you would go for the six state approach.
In the area of electoral votes, they would all still be there, but there would be more of them cast to reflect the wishes of the citizens that they represent. Gone would be the idea that conservatives in California might as well vanish and here would be the idea that their voice would be heard nationally, just as it should be. For liberals as well, there would be the idea that their voice and their ideas would be able to be carried out in areas where they are welcome. Los Angeles, San Francisco and the like would be relatively unchanged, but many areas that are more about farming, the wine business and others would have their say about their area.
I have heard it said that as an organization gets bigger, it has to get smaller. It sounds like an impossible statement, but I think it applies here. Six Californias would be able to respond to their citizens in ways that the current setup would never be able to do. Now that they have the signatures to get on the ballot in 2016, we’ll be hearing more about this move and I hope that the people of California will listen and decide that they are better off if they are smaller.
Check out the video below to learn more about the efforts to get this done.
(accompanying image is a screen capture from YouTube)