By Nima Maghame
A new poll by David Binder of DB-Research, conducted on behalf of Californians For Democracy, shows that 73 percent of California voters support a simple majority vote for revenue and budget legislation. Voters were asked to weigh this proposal: “All legislation on revenue and budget must be determined by a majority vote. Would you vote for it?” In response, 73 percent said yes, and 22 percent said no.
The findings are being hailed as a ringing endorsement for the California Democracy Act, a November 2010 ballot initiative authored by UC Berkeley Professor George Lakoff that would change the California Constitution from requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to approve budget and tax proposals to a simple majority rule. Californians for Democracy is in the process of gathering signatures for the initiative.
800 respondents were questioned for the poll. When respondents were asked, "In a democracy, a majority of legislators should be able to pass everyday legislation," 71 percent said yes, they agreed. When asked, "In a democracy, a minority of legislators should be able to block everyday legislation," 68 percent said no, they disagreed. Tax worries were addressed as well – 62 percent of respondents agreed they would support a proposal “solving the budget crisis by closing tax loopholes on corporations and charging oil companies an extraction fee without raising taxes on the lower and middle income Californians.”
Since a large amount of state legislation is required to be part of the budget, the initiative could have a far-reaching impact. Californians For Democracy has stated that a 37 percent minority blocks a 63 percent majority on everyday legislation.
"We made sure to ask the right-wing questions and our questions,” Lakoff told the Guardian, noting that most polls only present one side. “Republican questions get Republican answers,” he said. “We finally asked the question on both sides, and the answer is clear.”