Propositions: Confusing Clutter

In most places, the town-meeting style of democracy has long since gone the way of the cucking stool. Its heritage is the referendum, an instant, pain less substitute that leaves discussion of controversial issues to the press and their resolution to the curtained conscience of the voter. Sometimes the issues attract as much attention as the candidates, but more often they are so trivial—or so confusing—that they should never have been put on the ballot at all. Last week's election had a few of both kinds.

In defiance of all pollsters' predictions, Californians, by a 3-to-2 margin, voted against...

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