Thursday, February 02, 2012

Florida Primary: Where Are the Independents?

Note: It's too bad that Rob Richie and FairVote.org support closed partisan primaries. This position goes against the increasing ranks of independent voters who want and need to have a say in the first round of voting.

FLORIDA PRIMARY
  • Romney sweeps most groups in Florida vote (By Tom Curry, msnbc.com National Affairs Writer) But in Florida, 18 percent of the electorate Tuesday called themselves independents. Romney won 41 percent of them, while Gingrich won 27 percent.
  • From msnbc exit poll:
    No matter how you voted today, do you usually think of yourself as a:
    Category     Gingrich     Paul     Romney     Santorum     % Total
    Democrat     -     -     -     -     2
    Republican     33     5     48     13     80
    Independent or something else     27     16     41     15     18
  • Independent voters vital to general election win in Sunshine State (Written by John McCarthy, FLORIDA TODAY)
  • Florida should adopt open primary system (Written by Francis J. Merceret, LETTER Florida Today) Florida should adopt open primaries such as New Hampshire recently held. If the parties don’t like that, they can fund private elections or hold party-funded caucuses, as is done in Iowa or other states.
  • Florida's closed primary system coming under fire (By Jim Ash Special to Treasure Coast Newspapers) "I would like the parties to have a closed nominating system, but we don't want the taxpayers to have to pay for them," FairVote. Org executive director Rob Richie said.

3 comments:

Unknown said...

Hi, Nancy,

The reporter didn't quote me quite right. What I said was that I would like the parties to have THE OPTION to have a closed nominating system, but not if the taxpayers have to pay for them. If parties accept that public subsidy, they need to accept whatever legal conditions taxpayers impose, like open primaries.

With our representatives almost always coming from the two major parties, it's easy to forget that parties are private associations, not government entities, meaning that it is they have First Amendment rights as private associations to be able to define who picks their leaders. But the rest of us shouldn't have to pay for it they restrict who can vote.

Our point also goes hand in hand with our major focus: we want better voting methods and expanded choice in November, on the general election ballot we all pay for and that are true governmental elections. Independent voters can have great influence in general election ballot with fair voting methods and more voter choice.

Keep up your diligent coverage of these issues!

Nancy Hanks said...

Thanks for clarifying this. Supporting the option for parties to close their primaries de facto supports closed primaries. The parties want to control who votes in the first round. I feel this is undemocratic and excludes independent voters.

Unknown said...

Nancy. To be clear, I don't think the government should be able to force private associations (which is what parties are) to pick their leaders in certain ways. But it's not a traditional closed primary --taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for it if the parties make that choice.

Independent voters should have power in general elections that decide winners of elections. We need to get out of the two-parties-only mindset and liberate association, not drain it of meaning.

To make that goal real, we can adopt any number of better voting methods that make it possible for all of us to have real choices in general elections and to have good chances to elect whom we want in those elections. That's what we're working for, rather than focused on having the governnment coerce associations to nominate people they don't want to nominate....

I realize well-intentioned people have different strategies, but please don't assume that yours is the only way to make independent and third party voters matter. Thanks!