For those of you who’ve been shipwrecked in the South Seas, or sitting in a hospital queue in London, or are just coming round from a spectacular drunk, there’s a bizarre election going on in California. The two issues are: should Governor Gray Davis be forced to resign because enough voters managed to put a petition together, and if so, who should replace him.
The front runner is exciting not least for fans of the scene in ‘Demolition Man’ where Lenina Huxley (Sandra Bullock) says to a de-frosted John Champion (Sylvester Stallone) that they should research in the Schwarzenegger Presidential Library. His response: “NO WAY!”
Well Arnold Schwarzenegger, who once polled one vote in a (British) Conservative Students’ poll “Who should be the next Prime Minister” (after Margaret Thatcher), is the favourite in terms of money, polls and name recognition to become Governor of California. Should he win, a mere amendment to the US Constitution (or an outrageous ‘re-interpretation’ by Supreme Court judges having a giggle) seperates the Terminator from the nuclear button. (Is this the plot for T4? The Machine runs for President!)
The election itself is fairly extraordinary. 135 candidates (3 of them libertarians). A straight first past the post which means that a candidate could win – in theory at least – with less than 0.75 per cent of any turnout. That is to say 3 actual votes out of every 400 votes cast. And we know that turnouts can be low.
I must confess that the Libertarian candidate who strikes me as worthy of support is Ned Fenton Roscoe, of Napa County, occupation “Cigarette retailer” and whose website is www.smokersparty.com. I almost suspect the hand of Paul Staines… The other two libertarians are described as a “Healthcare District Director” and a “State tax officer” from Sacramento. See here for a full list of candidates.
N.B. Non-US citizens are not allowed to give money to any candidate.