- by David "cdlu" Graham -
In a surprise announcement this morning, Linux creator Linus Torvalds says he will enter the race to be the governor of California.
Linus' announcement came in the form of a message to the Linux Kernel Mailing List (lkml). Linus says he believes none of the California leadership race's 135 existing candidates can bring real change and improvement to the economy in the state, but that he does have a solution.
"There is a good state here, and it can use some improvement," Linus wrote in his announcement, "but I'd like to try creating my own. This race is a great opportunity to try."
As part of his governing strategy, Linus promised to open the government to contributions from anyone who wishes to contribute, and he will accept or reject those contributions by the people based on their merit and applicability to the situation at hand. "In this way," he wrote, "every citizen of California will have
an accessible government. We will work together to develop and maintain a government capable of keeping up with the times which is always willing to try new things."
Governor Gray Davis, upon hearing the news late this morning, was overheard by a reporter telling an associate that Linus had no hope of winning the recall election because proprietary governments were much better than open governments. "No government that listened to changes proposed by an average citizen has ever succeeded," Mr. Davis said. "Ideas have to be developed in-house and sold to the public when they are complete. Public discussion of public policy is merely an illusion. The government passes laws and the people abide by them, whether or not they like them."
Linus knows that people can't win elections without substantial financial backing, he assured his supporters in the Linux community. Prior to his announcement he had already secured more than $3 million toward his campaign from various Linux and Open Source companies, which he has been in touch with over the last few weeks.
One of the hurdles facing Linus' campaign is that the nomination period for candidates has ended. Linus hopes to get around this problem by encouraging fans of
freedom and openness looking for a new way of governing to write in his name on the ballot. "California election law allows write-in ballots," he said. "Use them for all they are worth."
With the tens of thousands of Linux developers and the millions of users of Linux around the world likely willing to help his campaign, Linus says he believes he can win the election. "California will be an open society and a wonderful place to live on my watch."