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Now What Do We Do?

by Alan Markow, published

Now that the smoke has cleared and the public has spoken against all of the ballot measures that would require any changes in taxing policies, the question before California remains: how do we solve the fiscal crisis? A few suggestions follow:

To the Legislature:

-Do your job, and quit asking the voters to do it for you. Your current approach is obviously not working.

-Grow up. Real adults retreat from fixed positions when they must.

-Quit trying to satisfy all constituents. You've ended up annoying everyone.

-Resign and let someone else solve the state's problems.

To the Governor:Stop calling for special elections - they're too expensive and don't resolve the problems.

-Hold the legislature's feet to the fire. Force them to make decisions.

-Take special elections off the table.

-Govern! The state is not so much ungovernable as it is ungoverned.

Special Interests:

-Shut up.

-Shut up.

-Shut up.

Voters:

-Throw out the people and their parties. Elect independent, non-partisan candidates who are pledged to fix the state's financial crisis without fear or favor.

-Pay attention. What's happening to your state will eventually impact your lives in ways you cannot imagine. Get involved in what's going on by knowing what's going on.

-Vote. One non-voter said on KGO (San Francisco) on election night that she didn't vote because she was "tired" from the previous elections. Stop making excuses. Everyone is needed to fix the problem.

The Media:

-Do a better job of clarifying the issues. This is particularly important for television, where too little effort is put into "mediating" the message so it works on the tube. (Maybe we need to have George Lucas imagineer some entertaining ways to explain issues).

-Do your homework. Ask follow-up questions. Write intelligent copy. Be unafraid.

-To talk radio hosts: stay away from ideology. Be willing to wait for information before announcing your position.

I know, I know. This is all part of the ideal world and it will never happen. But who ever thought things could get this bad? If it's possible to reach a pinnacle of poor governance, maybe we can reach the same for good governance.

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