Friday, February 04, 2011

California Prop 14 is a Good Thing Because Political Parties Are Un-American

by William J. Kelleher, PhD

from OpEd News

California's Proposition 14  provides a new way for the people of California to pursue the American Dream of Liberty through self-government.    Prior to the enactment of Prop 14, only officially recognized "qualified" parties could conveniently run candidates in the primary election.   "Unqualified" outsiders had prohibitive barriers, such as costly fees and high numbers of signatures on petitions to be placed on the ballot.   Candidates in the qualified parties didn't have to suffer these restrictions.  

More than three million Californians were effectively barred from voting in the primary election simply because they declined to register to vote as a member of any of the half dozen qualified parties.   They could have lied about identifying with one of the qualified parties at the time of registering to vote, so that they could cast a primary vote; but because of their personal integrity they were unjustly deprived of the opportunity to vote in the primary election.   They could only vote in the general election for the "left overs."

Thus, an oligarchy of a half dozen qualified parties reigned in the state primary election process.   But there was an oligarchy of two parties within that oligarchy.   So-called "third parties," like Peace and Freedom, Greens, Libertarians, etc had the status of being "qualified," however, in practice they held very little power.   With over 125 elective offices in the CA government, third parties rarely held more than a few lesser positions.   Dems and Repubs held the vast majority of CA offices.   Allowing third parties the status of being qualified has never been more than a device for fooling them into thinking that the two-party system was open and democratic.   Even within the CA two-party system, one party dominates the legislative branch -" the Dems.  

This one-party legislature is the nightmare come true for our Founding Generation. Because they had just fought a revolution against a king, they put their faith in the legislature, rather than the executive, to represent the people.   They shared Madison's understanding that in "republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates." (Fed 51)   Hence, the first Article of the Constitution defines the legislative branch. 

Full article at OpEd News  

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