Harry Kresky: Open Primary Helps Third Parties

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It’s particularly disturbing that at a moment when millions of independents are knocking at the door of an electoral process from which they are excluded, Ralph Nader and the third party movement would want to slam it shut.

(From “Should state adopt an open primary? Yes” by independent attorney Harry Kresky in Sunday’s Sac Bee)

Why is Ralph Nader opposing California open primary Proposition 14? The sometime Green/ sometime independent Presidential candidate now wants to Stop the Top Two, the popular open primary initiative that will be on the ballot in California June 8…. Thanks to Independent Political Report for the heads up about Ralph.


  • Viewpoints: Should state adopt an open primary? Yes — It would help third parties thrive where they now flunk ((By Harry Kresky, Special to The Bee) Harry Kresky, counsel to IndependentVoting.org., currently represents independent voters in a court case defending open primaries in Idaho.
  • Viewpoints: Should state adopt an open primary? No — It would hurt the GOP and reward mushy candidates (By Shawn Steel, Special to The Bee) Shawn Steel is California’s National Republican Commiteeman and a former chairman of the Republican Party of California.
  • Redistricting commission and open primary could end the bickering (THE
    Maybe We Should End Primary Elections
  • (Bob Schieffer, CBS News) Response to Phil Keisling’s oped in NYTimes Get Rid of Partisans

  • To Reduce Partisanship, Get Rid of Partisans (By PHIL KEISLING, NY Times)

    For more news for independents, see The Hankster

    • http://centristcoalition.com/blog/ kranky kritter

      Well, I don’t really like Ralph Nader. But I see no reason to limit the final ballot to the top two candidates. That seems stupid for precisely the reasons that stoptoptwo cites.

      But hey, if California wants to be America’s state laboratory for what happens when various tweaks to voting systems are employed on a large scale, they can have a field day.

    • http://www.detroitskeptic.com/blogs Nick Benjamin

      The reason is pretty simple: It helps third parties. We know this because the French do it, and they’ve got lots of parties. It’s also cheaper because a two-horse race is less likely to be hotly contested in the Courts.

      The current crop of third parties disagrees, but they seem to be in denial. For example they worry the major parties will work together to monopolize the fall ballot. But believe me the Democratic party is notsophisticated enough to ensure that half their voters went one way, and the other half went anoher way. I know I’m a precinct delegate. The GOP is a bit more centralized, but I doubt they could do it either.

      What will happen if this passes is simple: a Green who works his ass off in San Fran will come in second. And then he’ll be one scandal away from victory.