If You Can't Beat 'Em, Cheat 'Em
This brilliant piece of subterfuge comes in the form of a California ballot initiative that would ditch our 'winner-take-all' system in favor of splitting our electors roughly in line with the popular vote. Proposed by Thomas Hiltachk, a Sacramento lawyer with deep ties to the GOP, this measure would basically give Republicans the presidency in 2008 by stripping as many as 20 electors from the Democrats, and if you think that Hiltachk isn't getting his orders from the RNC or Karl Rove, think again.
But to get this passed in California, Hiltachk and his supporters will have to tell three BIG LIES. These are:
This System Would Be More Fair - Almost certainly true, but only if it's implemented all over the country, all at once! As it stands, it does nothing more than tilt the electoral college further toward the GOP.
This System Is Better For California - The argument being that candidates will spend more time campaigning in California. But moving our primary up will accomplish the same thing without rigging the election's outcome.
This Isn't Any Different Than the 'Popular Vote Movement' - The biggest lie of all because the popular vote movement has a built in fail safe--it doesn't go into effect unless 19 states carrying the balance of the electors all agree to join. This measure does exactly the opposite. Without being rolled out nation wide, it fixes the election's outcome, probably for a generation.
With such bad prospects for 2008, Republicans have apparently decided, "If you can't beat 'em, cheat 'em!"
You know, I still don't think 20 extra votes is going to help them.
Could definitely be the Republican campaign motto.
SA... a 40 elector differential could put John 'I sold my sold my soul to Jerry Falwell' McCain over the top.
Hasn't that always been their way?
Suzie-Q... More so than ever it seems.
I live in Cali...we can't let this happen.
They will never give up the power they now weld.
I hope I'm wrong, but don't believe I am.
Polishifter... I don't think it's got much chance of passing, but the money Democrats will have to spend defeating it is a bother.
LC... DeLay, like most 'Thuglicans knows which states butter his bread and which don't. California is so reliably Democrat, it's the prize catch. But hell, I'd be willing to put an initiative on the ballot in Texas. Do you have such a process?
As you say, I believe it would be a good idea if more states would do it.
Even NM could be split to the Albuquerque vote and the everywhere-else vote.
But say if the ten most populous states were to go this route, I think it would work well.
Reminds me of the Japanese method of republic that determines the number of votes by geography rather than population.
No, and frankly it's probably just as well we don't, given our low voter turnout and high proportion of wingnuts. We'd have a constitutional amendment to repeal the law of gravity, round pi to 3.15, make shitkicker the official language or stone witches to death in a heartbeat.
I favor unilateral disarmament, i.e. having California go proportional while Texas and Florida stay winner-take-all. Frankly, I don't think the Democratic party is that much different or better than the Republican, and I suspect they are trying to make sure their hides are safe too, using scare tactics just as their Republican brethren. In the end, if third parties become viable, all donkeyphants lose. Only voters would win. And neither donkey nor elephant will let that happen...
No election reform will happen that would threaten the two-party system. Not without a popular revolt.