Thursday, January 06, 2011

Partisans Grumble About Open Primaries

Open primaries became a national issue in 2008 when independents threw their support behind the anti-establishment candidacies of Barack Obama and John McCain in open primary states. Partisans are beginning to grumble now in the run up to 2012...


  • 10 candidates file in 28th Senate race to replace Oropeza (By Eric Bradley, LA Daily Breeze) Critics of Proposition 14 feared that it would destroy California's minor parties and, for his part, Chamness said he was running partly as a response to the law that he said "disenfranchises third-party candidates."
  • Plug up the primaries (By Markos Moulitsas, The Hill) Open primaries should be eliminated. Not only should members of political parties be allowed to select their own nominees, but open primaries provide too many opportunities for mischief by their political foes.
  • Candidates for RNC post make their case at Washington forum (By Jo Mannies, St. Louis Beacon) During the forum, Wagner did take a stand that could put her at odds with Republicans back home. She came out against open primaries, long used in Missouri, which don't require voter registration by party and allow anybody to vote in any party's primary.
  • Our View: Arnold yields the stage to Jerry (Appeal Democrat) Perhaps most destructive [accomplishment] is the open-primary election system championed by Schwarzenegger, which effectively eliminates the two-party system of primary nominations and general elections.
  • Left ready to launch own version of Operation Chaos for Palin? (POSTED BY ALLAHPUNDIT, Hot Air) All things being equal, people like Palin and Huckabee want closed primaries to shut out centrist independents and maximize the impact of base voters; on the flip side, people like Romney and Daniels prefer an open primary for the opposite reason.


  • Fall into the GAAP (EDITORIAL Downtown Express) The New York Uprising reform pledge signed by a majority of members of both houses of the Legislature had three points: independent, nonpartisan redistricting; ethics reform; and, finally, the implementation of a GAAP budget process.



  • Vote probe gambit rejected by judge (By KENNETH C. CROWE II, Albany Times Union) An acting state Supreme Court justice has dismissed questions raised about the status of a Rensselaer County grand jury investigating ballot fraud and a judge overseeing it in a 2009 WFP primary in Troy.

1 comment:

Dale Sheldon-Hess said...

There is a serious word-usage problem that you have to resolve.

The phrase "open primary," as it has been recently used in California, has a completely different meaning than how it has traditionally been used everywhere else in the United States, including how it is used in the Moulitsas and the other non-California-specific articles you've linked to.

As it says in the blurb you used from the St. Louis Beacon: open primaries are those "which don't require voter registration by party and allow anybody to vote in any party's primary."

These, I think we would agree, are a fine idea.

But in California, they use the phrase "open primary" when they mean "top-two jungle primary." Those are two very different things; and the later, I at least think, is bad for third parties and independents.

Please, don't add to the confusion by putting them both under the same heading.