Friday, December 31, 2010

IndependentVoting enthusiastically supports the top-two law in California

The Hankster Top 10 Major Political Reform Achievements in 2010:

#1. California's Proposition 14 - Top Two Open Primary, a hard-fought 14 year battle that gives 3.4 million independent decline-to-state Calfornians the right to vote in the first round of voting

#2. Republican Party of Idaho vs. Ysursa - Independent voters won legal standing and in mid-October a federal court judge in Boise, Idaho, heard testimony in the case Republican Party of Idaho vs. Ysursa, a crucial test of the parties vs. the people. Idaho has an open primary system, where any voter can cast a ballot in all primary and general elections — voters simply register in Idaho, they do not affiliate with a political party. 

#3. NYC Independence Party's proposal for nonpartisan elections - an 8 month endeavor in 2010 (and altogether a 7-year fight) to lessen the control of partisan interests in NYC and increase the power of voters.

#4. California Proposition 20 - expanded the California Redistricting Commission's mandate to include Congressional districts-passed by 20 points. In addition, Proposition 27, a bi-partisan ploy to dismantle the Commission, was defeated by a similar margin. See Proposition 20 on Wikipedia. A competing initiative on the November 2 ballot, and Proposition 27, Elimination of the Citizen Redistricting Commission, unsuccessfully sought to repeal Proposition 11.

#5. Florida voters enact nonpartisan redistricting plan  Almost obscured by Florida's high-profile races for governor and U.S. Senate, voters passed two amendments to the state's constitution Tuesday intended to radically limit the ability of the Republican-controlled legislature and governor's mansion to gerrymander state and congressional districts.

#6. Randy Miller's cartoon "We've Got to Stop Top 2, But How?"

#7. Harry Kresky's HuffPo op ed "California's Top Two Primary System Opens the Door to a Broader and Stronger Coalition for Political Reform" In this moment of possibility, it is important to remember what independents and minor party members have in common: a recognition that the major parties have too long placed partisan interests over the national interest; a belief that the existing two party arrangement keeps the policy dialogue within too narrow a framework; and a commitment to leveling the electoral playing field.

#8. Jackie Salit's report in theNY Newsday article "Goodbye Two-Party System?" from October 2010 Americans are starting to move beyond the parties, even beyond partyism. That’s the dynamic story unfolding on the edges of the midterm battleground. And if that motion is cultivated by truly nonpartisan innovators, the political parties will have a comeuppance sooner than you might think. Contrary to what some analysts argue — that America is ripe for a third party — the direction Americans are really heading is away from parties altogether.

#9. Joelle Riddle's Independents for Colorado Election Day organizing effort: Being on the “inside” allowed me to experience the consequences of a broken system and how it fails the people and the issues that are most important to us on a regular basis, day after frustrating day. Until the system changes we won’t have qualified candidates, we won’t solve problems and we won’t regain the public trust.

#10. Michael Lewis's Independent Kentucky Coup reports on The Hankster: In 2010 Independent Kentucky had positioned our semi-open primary bill as a win/win for everyone in Kentucky and the state GOP was on board from the start. So I continued to build off our overwhelming win in the Senate and decided to work towards more success in the House where we have been stonewalled for the last 3 years. Independent Kentucky has faced overwhelming opposition in the House because of the controlling party’s unwillingness to consider the 185,000 independents in the state that they have chosen to isolate.

On behalf of the hundreds of ordinary grassroots activists around the country working for political reform

HAPPY NEW YEAR!   JOB WELL DONE!

 -- NH

And now for the news:

OPEN PRIMARIES
  • Former Leaders of New Alliance Party Have Become Leading Opponents of Ballot Access Reform (Ballot Access News) Notwithstanding all these harms done to voting rights, IndependentVoting enthusiastically supports the top-two law in California, and expresses open hostility toward minor parties.  For example, see this cartoon [by Randy Miller on The Hankster], carried on a blog associated with IndependentVoting.
  • Canceling Washington's Presidential Primary (Seattle Post Intelligencer/Forthright with Sue Lani Madsen) Before there is any move to reinstate the presidential preference primary in 2016, it needs an overhaul. If any political party wants a presidential preference primary, let the political party design it, control it and pay for it. There is no other way to run a primary in an open registration state, and stubbornly independent Washington voters aren't likely to accept a requirement to register by political affiliation.
REDISTRICTING
  • Editorial: Take politics out of redistricting (Glens Falls Post Star) Sometimes, the benefit of having power is having the ability to do the right thing for your constituents. That's why New York's heavily partisan state Legislature should turn over its redistricting power to an independent, non-partisan commission, as suggested by former New York City Mayor Ed Koch.
  • Governor Cuomo (EDITORIAL New York Times) Gov Cuomo to clean up Albany... (?)
EDUCATION REFORM
  • Daniels Puts Hoosier State on School Choice Map (The Heritage Foundation/The Foundry) More quality educational options are clearly needed. While just 34 percent of Indiana fourth graders are proficient in reading, minority students fare far worse. Among African American fourth graders, just 15 percent are proficient in reading.
INDEPENDENT CULTURE/ POLITICAL THEATER

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