Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pennsylvania Post-Primary Advice: Candidates in mid-term elections take note: Independents are Watching You!

With the much discussed and highly contested PA primaries now over, talk among political pundits has quickly turned to the mid-term elections for US Senate and Governor. One thing that these “experts” seem to agree on, and very rightly so, is that independent voters, now nationally more than 40% of the electorate, will play a monumental part in deciding the outcome of the mid-terms. However, when asked to paint a picture of what independent voters want, who they are, and specifically how they will influence the elections, these same pundits come up surprisingly empty.

This lack of insight highlights the entrenched bipartisanship that exists not only in our political system, but in our political discourse. Independent voters are diverse in background and hold views that range across the political spectrum. This does not mean, however, as often characterized, that these voters are a nebulous bunch, unworthy of serious consideration. A far from nebulous fact offered by Stephen Bouikidis of Independent Pennsylvanians, “Independents have voiced deep concern about the breakdown of our political system. The candidates that seriously address this concern are the candidates that will come out ahead in the upcoming elections.”

Independent voters are passionately interested in increased inclusion in the electoral process. This can be seen nationally, from the passing of Proposition 14 (top two primaries act) in California this week, to the groundswell of support that Pennsylvanians have given to the Open Primaries bill ( HB 1672) introduced by Rep. Depasquale of York, PA. The bill would allow the over one million Independent voters of PA to participate in the crucial first rounds of elections, making our electoral process truly democratic and fair for all voters. This piece of legislation has already received close to 2000 signatures of support from across the state. Many voters voiced their outrage on primary day, “I’m sick and tired of not being able to vote, why are independents always silenced?” commented one voter on Independent Pennsylvanians website,;

“Inclusiveness is needed now more than ever, when it is clear that bipartisanship has a strangle-hold on our government,” Bouikidis adds. Independents will be watching closely to see which candidates come out in favor of bill HB 1672 and other democratic reforms that include all voters.

Independent Pennsylvanians (IP) is an activist organization supporting progressive, non-partisan political reforms and is an affiliate of;, a national strategy, communications and organizing center. Representatives from IP are available for commentary and views regarding the independent voter. 

Jennifer Bullock
Independent Pennsylvanians
245 S. 16th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

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