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Constitutional Conventions Aren't So Strange or Hard

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Constitutional Conventions Aren't So Strange or Hard

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After thoroughly studying the virtue of building a controversial museum complex on private land inside Valley Forge national park, an independent consultant has reached a clear conclusion.

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California's system of government is badly broken. So broken that most Californians have decided it's not worth voting, as I explain here. So why don't we come together and call a constitutional convention?

The idea has been mocked as strange or unworkable. But it's not. Many states routinely ask voters whether to call a constitution -- every 10 or 20 years or so. So while Californians sit stuck and frustrated tomorrow, four states -- Montana, Iowa, Maryland and Michigan -- will let voters decide whether to call conventions. I'll circle back after the election to let you know what people in those states did.

California is overdue for a convention or large-scale constitutional revision. The last convention came in 1878 and 1879, when the state had fewer than a million people. Key parts of our government, most notably our legislature, haven't been adjusted for the growth of the state. We had 120 legislators then and we have 120 legislators now, which gives California by a factor of three the most populous and thus unrepresentative districts in the country.

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