I’ve made the argument again and again here that the California Republican Party should embrace election reform that includes proportional representation. And I’ve got no takers – only a lot of polite criticism. Some think proportional representation is weird and European. Some Republicans seem to think election reform is a trick. Maybe they’re feeling burned by redistricting.
Of course, proportional representation isn’t a trick (or peculiarly European). Indeed, proportional voting is very Republican – so Republican, indeed, that the party picks its presidential nominee proportionally.
Don’t believe me? Just turn on your television tonight, Super Tuesday, and watch for delegate counts. The Super Tuesday states will have different winners, but the delegates – the tally of which matters most for getting the nomination – will be awarded proportionally in these states. Literally, the GOP, across the country (and in such communist bastions as Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, North Dakota and Texas), gives each candidate representation – via delegates – that is proportional to the percentage of voters that candidate gets.
Yes, the Republican primary in California remains a winner-take-all contest. But in this, as in too many things, the California GOP is an outlier. California Republicans should reconsider — because they would win with proportional representation in California.
Put simply, Republican legislative candidates draw a higher percentage of the vote than the percentage of Republicans in the legislature. So a proportional system would result in an immediate gain in Republican numbers in both houses of the legislature.
Under the status quo system – the system that Republicans don’t want to change – they are perilously close to having less than one-third of the state senate (as a result of an election in 2012 in which GOP candidates are likely to get more than 40 percent of all votes).
So repeat after me: winner take all is for wusses. Proportional representation is the path to victory. And to the presidential nomination.