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'Six Californias' Left Off Ballot; Our Own Scottish Moment Must Wait

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By Mark Wilson, Esq. on September 16, 2014 11:23 AM

As Scotland prepares to vote whether to end its 307-year affiliation with the United Kingdom, we're left to wonder what could have been if California were put to the same question.

As you might know, Tim Draper, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, sponsored a ballot initiative to split our beloved Golden State into six different states: a northern state called "Jefferson" from Chico to Oregon, a band surrounding Sacramento from the ocean to Nevada ("North California"), a "Central California" state, a Los Angeles-centric state called "West California," a Bay Area and coastal state ("Silicon Valley" -- really?), and a San Diego-based state called "South California."

Sadly, however, our billionaire's ballot initiative won't be appearing anytime soon.

Questionable Tactics

The proposal makes sense, sort of. Nearly 70 percent of California's population lives in San Francisco, Los Angeles, or San Diego. In presidential and U.S. senate elections, this means whatever these three population centers want, they typically get -- irrespective of the rest of the state.

Of course, most of California's wealth is concentrated in these population centers, so the rural states would get the short end of the stick. Currently, they enjoy the benefits of tax dollars from everywhere, including pinko-commie areas like San Francisco.

Draper and his campaign turned in 1.3 million signatures to the Secretary of State, well in excessive of the 808,000 they needed to qualify the initiative. The Secretary of State, however, found that only 752,685 signatures were valid. Draper blamed "the dysfunction of the current system" and said it "reinforces the need for six fresh, modern governments."

You know, Web 2.0 governments run by Ayn Rand-style superheroes who "disrupt" the status quo with "innovation." Anyway, it's adorable that he had the gall to say that. The real reason why his initiative got deep-sixed, according to the San Jose Mercury News, is that paid signature-gatherers told voters that the initiative would have the opposite effect.

Kind of Like Scotland

Scotland has some of the same problems with England that certain types of right-leaning people have with California. Scotland is more liberal, in general, than the rest of the UK, disagrees with social service policies (Scots want more welfare aid), and doesn't want nuclear missiles stationed in the northern countryside.

The change would be historic; Scotland joined England and Wales to become Great Britain in the Act of Union of 1707. They go back even further than that, though, to when King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England in 1603. That's right: England had Scottish monarchs for 111 years, until George, a German, took over in 1714. But you knew that already.

Scots go to the polls on Thursday to decide their fate. Californians -- probably for the better -- have no such luck. Our biggest similarities remain that we were ruled by an Austrian king and Craig Ferguson lives in L.A.

Close enough.

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