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Political Editors / November 3, 2017

Three Californias?

Over 500,000 signatures will be needed in order for Californians to vote on breaking up their state.

California billionaire Tim Draper’s long-time push to break the great Golden State up into smaller states has seen some recent success. The plan calls for dividing our nation’s most populous state into the three smaller ones: California, North California and South California. If Draper can get 585,407 valid voter signatures in time, he can get the measure onto the November 2018 ballot. Should the measure pass, the initiative would then need Congress’ permission to proceed. It’s a tall order.

Many have argued that California is simply too big and unmanageable. Others have suggested that splitting the state would break up a Democrat political monopoly, which has dominated the state for decades and led the nation in implementing leftist policy ideas. However, there’s little to suggest that a three-state California wouldn’t still continue to be dominated by Democrats, nor that its gargantuan 55 electoral votes would be delivered any differently in presidential elections. But there is the prospect of an increased presence in the U.S. Senate. Imagine six Left Coast liberals instead of two.

Critics of the plan also warn of chaos and growing pains. Political analyst Steven Maviglio states, “Creating three new governments, three new legislatures, three new governors and then having to disrupt what we have as a state all our prison systems, our higher education systems, I think diversity is what makes California great and this would actually ruin it.” We’re not sure how politically diverse California is, but he makes a fair point about the genuine difficulties presented — to say nothing of the need to reconfigure our nation’s flag, and to mothball that catchy children’s song “Fifty Nifty United States.”

It will be interesting to see if this measure reaches the ballot, and if so, to see just how unified (or not) Californians are.

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