It's official. It's etched in legislative concrete. It's circled on my calendar in a wreath of passionate purple ink, and it can't come too soon for this political junkie.
For the first time ever, Californians may actually have a say in who their choice for the presidential nominees might be now that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill approved by the California State Assembly by a 46-28 vote, and moved the primary up to Feb. 5, 2008.
The normal June primary will become the primary-primary in February. The real primary will become the secondary election in June when we vote for State candidates who will appear on the November ballot.
In November, it's back to our voting precincts for the "thirdindary" election -- if there were only such a word -- better known by it's offical name, the General Election, when we, along with the entire country, will elect the next President of the United State.
Confused? Don't be. As each election goes by the wayside, it gets easier to figure out; it's sort of like baseball playoffs. When the magic number reaches three and there's two game left to play, I can figure out who the division champs and wild cards will be.
Too many elections? Yes, no, maybe, undecided? Certainly too many for the great silent vox populi, 93 percent of whom didn't utter a peep, let alone an Ink-a-Blot pen scratch, in our February 6th primary.
This ironically miasmic turn out is amazing for a state famous or infamous for inventing the referendum. Who knows why. Maybe voters are tired of doing the legislators jobs for them, or maybe it's the horrendous choices we've had for candidates. Whatever the reasons, I'll leave that for those who track such things to figure out.
It's not an election too far for those of us who are political junkies and really care what's happening in our city, county and state governments.
Maybes and undecideds, not to worry, you still have time to...well, to decide.
But, for me, ever since the days of irresponsible television networks that posted winners -- projected and real -- long before the poll closed in the West, this is too long in coming. Prior to the media changing its policy, when the polls closed in the East, a quarter of us were cut out of the action, and effectively rendered inconsequential.
If the presidential winner was declared at 9 p.m. EST, our polls were still open for another two hours, so many people simply threw up their hands in frustration and didn't bother to vote unless there was something of local interest for them.
The Hawaiians must really feel out of the loop, being that they're five hours behind the East Coast and two hours behind us.
Up until now, little states in the East and mid-West chose who the presidential candidates would be. I'm sure they will take umbrage at my calling them "little," but face it, they are.
California has the largest legal population in the country; is the third largest in land mass; and if California were a country, we would have the sixth most powerful economy in the world. Therefore, why should we allow the rest of the country to decide anything for us.
For various reasons pols were either for or against moving up the primary. Some wanted it sooner because they are tired of California being used strictly as a political ATM. Others resented the caveats attached to the bill that would effectively negate the current term limits for California legislators, giving them an extra term in office.
Whatever the pros and cons were, it's official, so let the political games begin and have our primary-primary, run off and general elections and let the votes fall where they may.