California is a one-party state. There are few issues on which we disagree. And running for office here is no picnic.

So sometimes, only one person runs for an office.

This is common enough in local elections that it’s become routine for elections to be cancelled when there’s only one candidate for a city council or school board seat. California local elections matter so little – big decisions are usually made at higher levels in California’s highly centralized system of governance.

Sometimes it happens in legislative elections too. But in those elections, the vote must go on. The late Sen. Sharon Runner tried to change that, by pushing through legislation that would allow the governor to cancel an election to fill a legislative vacancy if only one candidate makes the ballot.

Gov. Brown vetoed Runner’s bill recently, with the argument that he was protecting choice in elections. His justification: write-in candidates could be part of such elections.

So California will just keep spending money on elections in which there’s no choice, in the name of choice.

Such is the sad state of political life here.

Of course, the state could revive its elections, everywhere, using proportional representation – so that every vote would count, and we would elect parties, not specific people to represent us. That’s a proven political reform that would drive particiaption – so of course it’s not on the agenda here.