Another Times "analysis" that flies very wide of the goalposts.
As the state faces fiscal crisis and partisan gridlock, some wonder if this nation-state is so oversized, Balkanized and polarized that it is destined for dysfunction no matter who is in charge.Even ten years ago, the word "Balkanized" was the most overworked one in politics. If you think California is too "Balkanized" then you probably think Filipinos and Cambodians have political power, when they don't have a tenth of the power of, say, CNIGA.
[Yes, this "analysis" of political power included no mention of Indian tribes, even though their commercials dominate every state election cycle.]
Ask any political consultant what might be "wrong" with California, and they will tell you that the state is not too Balkanized, but, ironically, far too homogenous. Latinos in legislature only occasionally work for Latino interests, and African Americans largely do not. See ceaseless examples, notably Bass, Willie Brown, MR-T...there are occasional largesses to their constituencies, but certainly not power blocs that swing issues specific to race or even class.
Democrats keep the state running, if as costly and as badly as possible, but Republicans don't even do this much: largely they are self-deputized, whining obstructionists who work hardest on arcane issues within issues, to cling to their 40% as best they can.
There is statewide consensus that Prop 13, which destroyed primary school education in the state, was good, and there is statewide consensus that the notorious proposition process itself, which makes the state legislature even easier to game than its individual reps are, is essential to giving the people a voice. These homogenous points are why the statewide blights of Indian gaming, declining schools, affordable housing schemes, and the prison industrial complex are all runaway freight trains.
With runaway trains on all tracks, California is neither better nor worse off with Schwarzenegger as governor than with Davis---it is simply the same. The Governor, whomever he or she is, must be politically willing to rework Prop 13 or to weaken the proposition system itself to make any real progress.