The recent campaign in Newport Beach is an example of democracy gone awry.
Residents increasingly feel cut off from the political process. The result is referendum, divisiveness, distrust of the City Council.
This estrangement is caused by the increasing money that is poured into council elections. Once the election is over, the well-funded, winning candidate appears to listen only to his contributors. The general public, having no access to city government, turns to the referendum process.
The solution to this problem is to limit the total amount that a candidate can spend on the election. We would then have a council eager to hear all citizens, a council that treats all residents courteously and equally, a council that speaks not for the few but for us all.