Monday, July 19, 2010

Citizens Union Will Testify at NYC Charter Revision Hearing in Favor of a Top-Two Election System

Among its recommendations in the Citizens Union 2010 Charter Revision Recommendations, according to the Executive Summary from June 30:

Establish a Top-Two Election System

Establish a top-two election system, similar to the one that is in place in Washington State, Louisiana, and Wisconsin for municipal and judicial elections, and was recently passed by voters in California. This would replace the current closed partisan primary system with a more open alternative consisting of two rounds of voting. In the first round, all candidates regardless of party affiliation and including independents would run, and all registered voters would be eligible to choose among all the candidates. The top two vote-getters would then advance to the general election or “round two”, with the voters again casting ballots to determine the ultimate victor. This is not the same as non-partisan elections. Candidates would have the option of indicating their party registration (or unaffiliated status) next to their name on the ballot. This identifier would provide voters with a sense of the candidate’s values and political platform. Moreover, party organizations would be free to endorse and campaign for candidates.

The Charter Revision Commission will hear testimony tonight at 6pm at Brooklyn College's Gershwin Theater.


Solomon Kleinsmith said...

Independents that support top two are really being short sighted. Nonpartisan, fine, open primaries... excellent, but top two is both unethical and undemocratic. I continue to have a hard time believuing any of you can justify to yourself how its okay to block people from running for office in the general... no matter what party, or lack there of, they choose to be a part of.

Potentially even worse, it puts underdog candidates at an even bigger disadvantage. Now, they have the whole election calendar to play catch up with major party candidates and all of their built in advantages, whereas top two only gives them the length of the primary calendar. Its amazingly myopic for people who want more voices outside of the two major parties to support this.

And don't even try to give me the bullshit that this isn't a problem. We have top two in Nebraska and I ran into the same damn problem myself.

Hell, you even mention Washington... where the results don't lend to your arguments that top who brings more moderates, or independents for that matter, into the mix.

We're FINALLY seeing viable moderate independent candidates rise up in places around the country, and you're going to make it even harder for them if top two systems spread... open your eyes.

Randy Miller said...

The point isn't to exclude partisan candidates or to insure moderate or independent candidate success. The point is to include we the people in the runaway exclusive process. Non partisan elections would be ideal, but that's too hard of a sale right now though maybe not in the future when we roll out the perfect union. Open primaries of a non top 2 nature are only semi-open, one cannot weigh in on a gubernatorial race in one party and a legislative race in another. How do we overcome that obstacle?