End closed primaries

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End closed primaries

Postby lakepsailor » Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:32 pm

One area where some practical effort could be made is to limit the power the parties have in selecting candidates for us. In just about every state it is VERY hard (read: impossible unless you have a millions of dollars to spend) for a potential candidate to get on the ballot for a state wide election without winning either the Democratic or Republican primary for the office.

A way to break this headlock the parties have on the elections process would be to do away with state funding or recognition of party primaries. If a party wants to hold an election to see who will receive the party's support, fine. The election, however, will be on the party's nickel; the state will not help in any way and the winner will get no special treatment regarding placement on the ballot.

What would happen is the state holds an "open" primary. That is, all candidates for a particular office appear on the election ballot. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes then the two candidates with the highest number of votes goes on to a runoff. This means voters could be choosing between two candidates from the same party. It also means that while party support would certainly still be important, a small number of activists within the party system won't be able to limit the electorate's choice to only candidates that are activist approved.

Now, since both state and federal elections are actually regulated at the state level the bar for making changes are somewhat lower. In my own state of Louisiana we managed to get back to an open primary system after a dismal 4 year experiment with the closed primary system. Despite strong opposition by both national parties enough popular pressure was placed on the state legislature to roll the election process back to open primaries. One result is neither of our current US Senators jobs (both Landrieu and Vitter were elected via closed primaries) are secure.
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Re: End closed primaries

Postby Dr. Strangelove » Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:53 pm

Just abolish political factions from federal elections. They can have their primaries if they want. But it shouldn't ever show up on a federal ballot, and shouldn't have anything to do with political parties. Just put a name on the ballot. Nor should the election commissions be controlled by party members.

In the meantime, simply encourage people to not vote for democrats or republicans. The day Americans stop voting for those people is the day these problems actually lesson instead of worsen.
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Re: End closed primaries

Postby lakepsailor » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:05 am

Effectively that's what would happen if the states stopped using party primaries to "screen" candidates for office. Parties would in the end become basically a PAC like they were prior to the 1950s.
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Re: End closed primaries

Postby blahface » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:31 pm

I do agree with Open Primaries, but we need to use approval voting for that. The regular runoff method still has the problems of vote splitting and you can get the two worst candidates in the general. With approval voting you get the two best candidates in the general election.
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Re: End closed primaries

Postby Atanamis » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:43 pm

blahface wrote:I do agree with Open Primaries, but we need to use approval voting for that. The regular runoff method still has the problems of vote splitting and you can get the two worst candidates in the general. With approval voting you get the two best candidates in the general election.
+1

I think you're the first person other than myself I've seen on here recognizing this, and it is absolutely correct. Let parties have whatever "primary" process they want. Without control over the ballot who cares what method a PAC uses to pick its favored candidate? Like Strangelove said, prohibit anything on the ballot but the name of the candidate. If someone wants to vote based on their political organization's recommendations they can bring in a list of names to vote for.
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