An insidious movement to change the Electoral College provisions of the Constitution through a back door needs to be styopped in its tracks — terminated, as it were. And the man to do it is none other than the Terminator himself, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The wonderful Betsy Newmark, of Betsy's Page, explains:
The California legislature has passed National Popular Vote legislation that would commit California to cast its electoral votes for whoever wins the popular vote regardless of which candidate won the state's vote. All that is necessary is for enough other states to make a similar commitment for those states to get around the Constitutional provisions of the Electoral College. The larger states don't like the fact that the smaller states have a built—in advantage in the Electoral College and the Senate because they get representation beyond what they would have based on their populations.
So, this legislation is now on Governor Schwarzenegger's desk and he has to decide this week whether to sign it or not. Supporters of the bill have met with the Governor and think he was responsive to their arguments but they have no idea which way he'll decide.
Well, I have some advice for the Governor. Don't sign it. Make a speech and say that you don't think it is in the best interests of Californians to obviate their political preferences by going with how the rest of the country votes. He can say that such a provision would have forced California in 2006 to have cast their electoral votes for George Bush. Let that sink in for a minute and he can then say,
"Even though I supported the reelection of President Bush and spoke at the convention, I don't think that the majority of Californians who voted for Kerry should see their votes cancelled out simply because voters in the rest of the nation preferred Bush. If the National Popular Vote had been in effect in 2006, Bush would have seemed to have been reelected in an electoral landslide rather than in a closely won election. While that might have given encouragement to the Republican agenda, it would not have been an accurate reflection of what the country thought or what California believed. And so I am going to veto this bill, because it is against the political interests of Californians."
That would be a powerful argument and it would have the benefit of being true. If he wanted more of an argument, Schwarzenegger could then say that, if we depended on the popular vote to determine the presidency, we would be seeing Florida—like snafus duplicated across the country