California’s Coming Election Has More in Common With Brexit Than You Think

For a Century, State Politicians Have Relied on Ballot Measures to Achieve Their Political Will, and Come to Rue the Results

Mathew col 7-28 LEAD

Do you think Brexit was a singularly British form of folly, having little to do with California? Think again. California is the global capital of Brexit-style votes, and this November’s state ballot is littered with mini-Brexits.

Don’t think of “a Brexit” as a vote to leave a larger political or economic union. (California isn’t about to leave the U.S.—though a Trump presidency would sure stir a movement for Calexit). Brexit is better understood as a special kind of ballot measure—a plebiscite. Plebiscites are placed on the ballot not by civic …

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