Compromise and Gridlock

Today’s post is on compromise and gridlock in the California legislative process. Gridlock and compromise are often inherent aspects of any law making process, and California’s Legislature is no exception.

The problem is that the usual approach to law making, often involving alignment from political parties to advance their particular position, all too often leads to no results, or questionable results, or even contested results. The political parties fight, and legislation doesn’t pass, or the parties fight, and the resulting legislation does little to advance a solution, or it contains significant flaws, or the losing parties continue to attack or try to undermine or overturn the legislation that was adopted.

While gridlock is caused by the way we’ve traditionally practiced policy making, it’s also the result of some vote requirements. For example, California has different types of bills that require a two-thirds supermajority of the legislature.

Under normal circumstances, the domination of political parties and specific interest groups make compromise too difficult to achieve when it comes to certain high profile controversial legislation, and every two years, election year politics aimed at creating stark differences between the political parties often also makes compromise more difficult.

Some of us believe that in order to overcome gridlock, at least three critical conditions must occur –  a committed and capable group of leaders who want to do things differently, a change in the mindset and the process in the way proposals are put together, and a focus on the long term best interests of the people in the state of California.

Also, there’s an alternative method of compromise, which is accompanied by the use of a win win negotiating process, which often leads to a more durable public policy determination.

I hope you enjoy this podcast and learn about gridlock and compromise in the California legislature.