Democracy, California Style

It would take a heart of frozen stone not to find California's present electoral chaos invigorating, charming and even important.

Californians have decided to make their governor (search) grovel to remain in office because they're sick of politicians who gladly take their money, but never listen to their concerns.

In past generations, voters would have had little alternative but to mutter, complain and take it. But no more. Technology has made it easier for voters to act and harder for politicians to hide.

Cable news provides nonstop coverage of the major action and information-saturated Web sites called Weblogs skewer lies before they have a chance to molder into conventional wisdom. Representative democracy has become a 24/7 enterprise and politics moves at the speed of light.

This makes the electoral enterprise more uncertain and unpredictable than ever, since political currents shift more rapidly and radically than ever.

What's going on in California is neither dangerous nor alarming. It's a glimpse at the future. That's bad news for heedless politicos and good news for everyone else.