Monday, December 10, 2007

Fun with California Politics

Now, don't run away with that headline. "Fun" doesn't include winning any elections. No light at the end of the tunnel; nothing like that. But there is the opportunity to cause consternation in the ranks and generally screw things up for that hapless collection of country club buffoons and power-mad neocons out in front of the GOP presidential nomination race.

California GOP primaries have always been winner-take-all propositions. Until this year. Four years ago the party did a little furniture re-arranging:

Those rules turn California from a bastion of plurality-winner-take-all politics to a place that will essentially run 53 separate little primaries, with the leading GOP vote-getter in each congressional district taking three of the state's 173 Republican convention delegates. Another 11 at-large delegates will go to the statewide vote leader and three more will be unpledged.

Congressman Paul appears to be the only contender taking advantage of the rule change. Or even the only one aware of it. Thomas Elias explains further in fascinating detail here.

It certainly provides a more entertaining prospect than the State Assembly "race" my gerrymandered-within-an-inch-of-its-life district will be voting on tomorrow. The GOP is usually able to come up with a sacrificial lamb. But not this time. We can have our choice of three mainline Democrats out of the usual mold, someone from the AIP with no address, no web presence, no biography, no list of qualifications, and who doesn't do interviews. (There's not even a photo.) And there's a Libertarian. The Libertarian is, mirabile dictu, pro-life. Accompanied by a few other rather rum ideas. But, still. Since he's not going to win. . .if I happen to be free tomorrow and in the mood and able to find my sample ballot with the address of the polling place on it, I shall have someone to cast my meaningless vote for. And when you're browsing through the paper Wednesday morning and you find the Assembly election results down on the bottom of page 37 beneath the three-quarter page brassiere ads, you'll know that the -1% of the vote Herb the Libertarian garnered represents my ballot. And, presumably, Herb and his family.