Thursday, September 25, 2003

Swirling Super Bowl Dreams of Real Representation

As Arnold "Super Bowl Debater" Schwarzenegger (and, no doubt, many of his supporters) fantasized about something perhaps worse than stuffing Arianna Huffington's head in a toilet during last night's debate, Peter Camejo must have been thinking that at least a few people were logging onto his web site. The fact that I feel guilty for wanting to vote for him is a sad state for a Representative Democracy.

We don't have a Democracy that looks much like us. We get to choose the lesser of two evils. We chicken out of supporting the positions we care about because we know that if 1726 of the 96,837 (0.017%) green votes for Nader in Florida had voted for Gore, Al would have won Florida by one vote. Instead, those 1726 Green voters in Florida got the diabolical opposite of what they actually wanted.

5.3% of Californians voted for Camejo in the 2002 Gubernatorial election (many more wish he was the leading Democrat in the race). But 5.3% of the legislature isn't from the Green Party. If you go to Tom McClintock's Ventura district, you'll find Hispanics, Blacks, and Greens. But Tom doesn't represent those greens, or even most of those minorities. In fact, many of the farm workers in Tom's district would get deported if he had his way.

While Lt. Governor Bustamante tried to keep his cool when Arnold interrupted him, he risked looking patronizing with his “Yes, Arnold's. Arianna made her excellent point, as usual, and we should all thank her for doing so. She sagely used the debate to help launch the Clean Elections Initiative for public financing of campaigns paid for with a tax on oil extracted in California. Camejo said he supports the initiative.

Which led me to think that this man who stands for everything the Democrats claim to stand for, who once ran for President as a socialist, would make a damn fine Governor. And as I'm thinking this, Arnold just insists on talking right over everybody. And yet they love him. If McClintock bailed, Arnold would win. Thanks, Tom. I admire a man who keeps his promises. Even though I agree with the pundit who suggested McClintock was building a bridge back to the 15th century.

I though, “What a shame I can't just vote for Camejo.” I'm sure Peter would say not. He helped the California Green Party. He helped the multi-party system idea. He got the message out. As did Huffington, Bustamante, and McClintock. Arnold got something out, and let's hope he keeps flushing before he sticks anyone's head in it.

No comments: