As an American living in California I can only add a note of caution to the idea of so-called political reform (‘Window Dressing’, November). In this state the political process has become dysfunctional. One major reason for this is that it is so easy to amend the state constitution via popular referendum. The unintended consequence has been democracy run amok. For example, thanks to popular vote, revenue measures require a 2/3 majority in the state assembly. It seemed a reasonable measure at the time of the vote, but political gridlock has been an unintended consequence due to the ideological evolution of the Republican Party. As so well described in Don Watson’s article on the Tea Party, the Republicans have become the party of unreason, catering to people who condemn President Obama as a socialist who at the same time are major recipients of governmental largesse. The Tea Party makes up a large part of the Republican base and could very well determine who the next president will be. A frightening prospect and a reminder that lunacy in the American body politic is alive and well.
Sonora, California, United States of America