Wednesday, May 28, 2008

You Can't Change the Political Game Unless You Change the Political Rules

Independents are now 40% of the electorate and are playing a major role in national and local politics.

The following are a set of political reforms favored by many independent voters that address the institutional barriers to theirparticipation and to greater democracy.

Open primaries: This was the year of the Open Primary. Independents flocked to vote in the primaries and established that they are an engine for a new politic. Support for open primaries is very high among independents. CUIP’s polling puts it consistently at above 90%. Consequently, independents would value efforts to further institutionalize this practice.

Open Primaries is a general category which has taken a number of different forms. Whatever the approach taken, open primaries would allow some 40% of American voters to participate in the critical first round of elections for public office from which closed primaries bar them. Moreover, as this year’s presidential primaries demonstrate, open primaries maximize the influence of younger voters, anti-machine voters and voters more open to change. Thirty-three states have some form of open primaries (or caucuses) at the presidential level. Only a handful have them for other federal or for state offices (though many cities have nonpartisan municipal elections, including 60 out of 75 of the nation’s largest cities as of 1991). ....... (read more)

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