Politics

Kresky: Open Dialogue on Open Primaries and Nonpartisan Elections

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PEOPLE NOT PARTIES

Leading independent attorney and counsel to IndependentVoting.org Harry Kresky penned a great HuffPo piece today called Let’s Have an Honest Debate About the Role of Parties:

“Proposition 14 abolished party primaries and replaced them with a system known as “top two.” All candidates will appear on a single ballot in a primary election in which all registered voters can participate and candidates can list party preference. The two highest vote getters face off in the November general election. A similar reform is now under consideration by a New York City Charter Revision Commission which has the authority to put it before the City’s voters in the November 2010 or 2011 election.

The pro-party argumentation – laid out in syndicated columns this week authored by George Will and David Broder, along with Errol Louis’ column in the New York Daily News – goes as follows. The political parties, they say, are central to our democracy as vehicles for voter education and mobilization, and the selection of candidates who represent their members’ preferences. Their right to do so is protected by the First Amendment, as is the right of citizens to form parties to advance their common interests. Without parties, we are told, billionaires and unchecked special interest groups will come to dominate our political system.

At the core of this position is a legal and logical sleight of hand that conflates the right of the people to form parties (and other associations like labor unions) to advance common interests with the control of the electoral system by the parties. The two are not the same….” [read the Huffington Post article here]

Errol Lewis called Prop 14 “dangerous” and “un-American.” Does Errol Lewis consider the 54% of the voters who went to the polls on Tuesday June 8th (probably mostly party registrants, given that it was a primary election) dangerous and un-American?

Hats off to the 2,670,811 California voters who stood up to the party bosses! All of the partisan forces were against Prop 14 — including minor parties from the Libertarians to Peace and Freedom and the Green Party.

Somebody has to speak for the people. Appropriately, it will have to be the people, not the parties. And that’s the good news!

For more news for independent voters, see The Hankster