Sunday, January 26, 2014

Primary Obsolete?

Polls are showing more and more party faithful switching their registrations to independent.   The lack of bipartisan work in Congress and legislatures is probably one reason.  The other is the sheer radicalism of the GOP which sets a stage for everyone to not want to identify with a political party.

Whatever the reason, this should give pause to the legislature to do something about our system of political primary elections.  They will soon be obsolete and meaningless.  The danger is that fewer and fewer people will be putting candidates into general elections and most likely those candidates will be more and more fringe.

Someone, without a vested interest, should start working on a revamped system for Primary elections.  Is there some brave legislator out there that would be willing to take this one on?  Surely one out of 112 could take this on.  Perhaps the legislature could set up a commission to look at different Primary systems that work around the U.S.

Maybe a start would be to let independents vote in our Primaries in New Mexico.  This would be better than a closed primary where only specific party members could vote.  An open non partisan election might be the best in the long run seeing as the parties are dying on the vine.

Even as a life long democrat I sometimes think about crossing into independent territory, except for the fact that I would be denying myself a vote in the NM primaries.  I feel it is a system that must change although I could never vote for the types of republicans currently in office and the Koch funded pipeline of corporate serving conservative candidates.


Anonymous said...

While there are some advantages to an open primary system one down side is that voters can crossover and vote for the weakest candidate on the other side. However I think that the net result would be more moderate candidates would survive the primary. Another alternative is a system used in California where the top two candidate in the primary regardless of party face off the general election.

Anonymous said...

The primaries are essential to selecting candidates that reflect the party platform. I personally do not like some of the far left parts of the Democratic Party platform but I still participate in the primary processes and always will.

If a person does not like it there are other parties or decline to state.

Allowing non party members to vote in the primaries would render them null and void. Like the party chair said, join the dark side.

I do think that the tendency seems to be drifting towards the extremes. Drifting or being pushed/pulled in that direction. I think that will destroy the Democratic and Republican parties in the end and we will end up with more than just the two major parties.

Anonymous said...

Anything that diminishes the power of the political parties is fine with me as long as one party doesn't dominate. I very seldom or never agree with the party platform.

Anonymous said...

I would be happy with an open primary with the top two advancing as in California. As a DTS and county taxpayer, I think that if we all are paying to run the election, we should all have a vote in it.

Donald F Schiff said...

I would consider a modified open primary system in which DTS (decline-to-state) voters are permitted to choose which ballot they prefer. However, as another reader commented, a truly open primary system is an invitation to shenanigans. Members of a political party should NEVER be allowed a voice in choosing another party's general election candidate. To my mind that includes minor parties.