193 people have filed candidacy papers for the upcoming recall election. Just think about it: if every application is verified, we could have almost two hundred names on the ballot, just for one office. And they’re going to be listed randomly.

Imagine how long the ballot will be. Heck, imagine how long the info pamphlet will be. Nearly 200 candidate statements.

Only a plurality is required. In theory, it would be possible to win the election with less than one percent of the vote. Of course, we’ll probably end up with only about 5-10 people who are seriously campaigning, so it’ll be more like 10% required to win, and some polls are already giving Arnold Schwarzenegger 40%. Come to think of it, the sheer number of names may be enough by itself to get him into office: he’s got greater name recognition than anyone else on the list.

Assuming people can find him in 15 pages of unsorted names.

One things that’s bugged me since the start of the effort to recall Governor Davis is that people keep bringing up the budget crisis.

Repeat after me: The Legislature chooses the budget, not the Governor.

Recalling the governor because the legislature can’t get its act together is like firing your plumber because your electrician screwed up.

Of course it’s all tied up in partisan politics. Some people just want a Republican governor, and are using the budget as an excuse. (Anyone remember the regular budget impasses during Pete Wilson’s administration in the early 1990s? This is not unique to Gray Davis!) Some people just want to throw someone out, and it’s less effort to kick out one governor than 100+ legislators.

But the budget crisis is all about party infighting. The Democrats have rallied behind tax increases, the Republicans have rallied behind spending cuts, and neither side will budge.

If these people would just stop fighting over who was a Democrat and who was a Republican, maybe they’d actually get some work done.