Californias’ Support Of Initiative Process Slips

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) –A new California Field Poll shows that while ballot propositions are declining in popularity, most voters still don’t want to turn their initiative power over to politicians. There’s also concern about special interest influence, no matter who is making the decisions.

California has used the initiative process for the past 100 years to allow voters a direct say in public policy. When the Field Poll asked 30 years ago, 83 percent of voters liked initiatives, but pollster Mark DiCamillo said that a new Field survey shows their popularity dropping to 53 percent.

”Voters have become a little more cynical,” said DiCamillo. “They think that the monied interests are behind many of them, and usually get their way.”

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Still a majority of voters still support ballot propositions, especially when the option is letting politicians make all policy decisions.

“Increasingly, voters have less and less trust in their elected officials, and more trust in their own decisions, even with the growing cynicism that monied interests are influencing the outcomes,” said DiCamillo.

This new Field Poll also found that the web is the public’s most popular information source for ballot initiatives, followed by television, then the voter handbook followed by newspapers.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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