UPDATE: The Governor VETOED this bill!
One of the last Big Name bills still needing a veto is the trashing of the Electoral College via AB 2948, a scheme that would circumvent the carefully planned and balanced approach the Founders brought and intended for our nation’s presidential elections. California would be the first of a syndicate of as few as 11 states that could defy the voters of their state and allocate their Electoral votes opposite of the result of their state’s election and decide the Presidency. If you want a recipe to feed the "why bother to vote" sentiment, this would surely be a key ingredient.
Those that think the rural states or rural areas of states are "flyover" country now, wait til candidates only have to campaign in a handful of "syndicate states" where they can add up 270 electoral votes or gain 50% + 1 of the nations popular vote.
Thinking that this plan will change behavior of candidates to visit areas they don’t now defies logic and reality. Candidates will always campaign especially in areas where they believe they can sway a slight majority their way that they may not win by ignoring. Ohio was a battleground for a reason, because it was close. It makes less sense for a strategist to send their candidate to a safe district they will likely win, one they can probably count on. Whether you are Republican or Democrat, you want your candidate to win, no? Even under the plan to allocate electoral delegates by Congressional districts won, the ‘safe’ districts will be less worked than the ‘close’ ones, it’s just the way of things…[which furthers the case to fix the way redistricting is done in California since the result will be more 'relevant' congressional districts in terms of a presidential campaign strategy.]
This plan will essentially gerrymander an entire country. Rural areas it purports to help, can be totally ignored as it may be the best ‘strategy’ to win the election, as the handful of Electoral votes in any given small state would pale in comparison to the lure of the "majority bloc". President Bush isn’t likely to win a statewide election in California soon, nor Gore/Kerry lose one. Despite even that, we do occasionally see presidential candidates here in NorCal as John McCain visited Redding in the 2000 cycle and I was there when Bob Dole "fell for Chico" in ’96. [I was on the stage for that one, Dole comes out and greets the crowd and leans up against the unanchored railing on the front of the stage to shake a hand, and I watch helplessly as our Republican presidential nominee disappears off the 5 foot high stage into a sea of supporters...in Chico, in my home county of Butte...great. He popped up, none the worse for wear, gave his speech and shook hands for 20 minutes after...awright Bob!]
The system put in place by the Founders has worked for over 200 years. An unofficial non-constitutional agreement amongst a few big states "disenfranchises" the rest of the smaller ones. The Electoral College brings balance from the urban mob rule [like what prevails here in California especially since the State Senate in the 60's went to a population based apportionment instead of a regional one.]
President Bush won because of the heartland, look at the "red vs.blue by county" map from 2000 and 2004. Don’t let extremists still beside themselves with their "What’s The Matter With Kansas?"anger over 2000′s rural influence winning the day, foist this half-baked approach upon the most respected election process in the world, the one reknowned for it’s smooth transition of power between Executives. Veto this Democrat grab for power from a hallowed institution.