Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Some folks have asked me what I think of the Californian recall situation. I would reply that it isn't my problem, but that I would vote no on recall and then for Schwarzenegger. In general terms, I think that the Californians would do best to hold a constitutional convention and purge the recall, referendum, and initiative elements from their constitution. Adam Sullivan has a radical, counterintuitive, and interesting counter-proposal:

He wants to get rid of the state primaries.

He points out that the open recall election managed to do what the primary system hasn't in several years: produce a viable centrist choice. He further opines that the "play to the base, then run to the centre" structure of the primary-general system *inherently produces skilled liars* as electoral choices. The one who can successfully say one set of things to the committed partisans in the spring and another set of things to the vast pragmatic centre will win the general election. No wonder the system produces sociopaths like Gray Davis.

It's a thought, at any rate. And if California is willing to experiment with it before I subject my own state to such an idea, even better. That's what California is for, isn't it? Our political mine-canary.

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