Power grab:

America’s Electoral College should be abolished, but there is a right way to do it and a wrong way. A prominent Republican lawyer in California is doing it the wrong way, promoting a sneaky initiative that, in the name of Electoral College reform, would rig elections in

a way that would make it difficult for a Democrat to be elected president, no matter how the popular vote comes out.

California currently gives all 55 of its electoral votes — the biggest electoral college prize in the nation — to the candidate who wins the statewide popular vote. Virtually all states use this winner-take-all method. The California initiative, which could go to a vote in June, would instead give the 2008 presidential candidates one electoral vote for every congressional district that they win, with an additional two electoral votes going to whoever got the most votes statewide.

The net result of the California initiative would be that if the Democratic candidate wins in that state next year, which is very likely, the Republican candidate might still walk away with 20 or more of the state’s electoral votes. This is actually a power grab on behalf of Republicans. The Electoral College should be done away with, but in the meantime, any

reforms should improve the system, not make it worse. — International Herald Tribune