Owatonna, NC Correspondent-A ballot referendum in California this fall will decide if Californians will be able to petition the Federal government to split the state into three separate states: (new) California, Northern California, and Southern California. Polls show that a large majority of California voters oppose the referendum (an April 2018 poll by SurveyUSA.com showed that 72% are opposed). Even if the referendum miraculously passes, I strongly doubt the Feds will allow California to split itself into three smaller states.
The main reason it won’t happen is inertia and political gridlock. California is so large and influential in national politics and business (12% of total US population; more than 4% of total land; the fifth largest economy in the world), that any attempt to alter California will be met by stiff resistance from the status quo crowd. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
However, advocates say California is broken because the state government no longer adequately reflects the will of the people. Wealthy, highly-populated districts control the state legislature and can enact laws that may not be in the best interest of poor rural areas. But national politics likely won’t be affected. That’s another reason for the feds not to divide California—no adverse political consequences like shifting the electoral balance.
Other reasons given for splitting California are to enable each state to address issues like poor education, crumbling infrastructure, and high taxes more effectively. Three separate Californias will be forced to compete for residents and businesses, which advocates claim will lower taxes, improve services, and increase accountability. That concept has merit because the burgeoning size of the federal government is showing that corruption, inefficiency, and wasteful spending are easier and more tempting within a bloated government that lacks accountability and oversight.
Unfortunately, despite that valid reason for the proposed split, three Californias doesn’t look like it will be happening in 2018, or ever. The popular and political will to get it done is non-existent.
Gastonia, NC Correspondent-California, on behalf of the rest of the United States, we think you’re just super. Really. You’ve got natural splendor, some of the best wine production in the world, you provide a convenient place to keep all our “stars” warehoused and largely away from normal people, and periodically you provide us with some nifty earthquake footage. Stop trying to get our attention!
The Golden State will split into three new states just about the time Australia becomes the 51st state (although wouldn’t that be awesome?). The logistical challenges alone are mind-boggling, not to mention the political ramifications.
I daresay the current Republican-dominated Washington crowd will not be in favor of having six, rather than two, senators from California, along with the attendant bumps in congressmen/women. The Electoral College would be tilted a bit, as well.
Then there’s the precedent. How many other states will want to follow California’s lead? I’m fairly sure the greater portion of Texas would love to cut off the fairly liberal enclave around Houston. Likewise, the red state country folks of North Carolina would be delighted to kick Charlotte into its own box.
So, yes, California can certainly go forward with this nuts-and-berries bit of silliness, but there’s not a chance in Hades it’ll be allowed.