Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Independent Movement: Out of the Clutches of Partisan Politics

More voters are becoming independents (40% of the American electorate considers itself to be independent - you can see the C-Span coverage of's 2013 National Conference of Independents here) and as the voters go, so go the politicians... More candidates are becoming independent, too! Open primaries would help our country move forward, out of the deadly clutches of partisan interests. 

Viewpoint: Independents have clear view of party lines (By Kate McGuire, a freshman journalism major from Waterloo, Iowa. She is a staff writer for the Baylor Lariat) Yet I am neither a Democrat nor Republican. I believe independent voters are more than what people label us.

  • Detroit lawmaker breaks with Dems, now independent (By DAVID EGGERT, Associated Press, Albany Times Union) Olumba's departure from the Michigan House's Democratic caucus gives Republicans a 59-50 edge instead of a 59-51 majority, though he may still vote with Democrats on many bills. Olumba said the move allows him to independently negotiate with Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger on behalf of his constituents "without a middleman," and that he planned to form a one-man "Independent Urban Democracy Caucus."
  • State Rep. John Olumba of Detroit leaves Democratic Party, citing racial slights (By Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press) "The Democratic Party has to start recognizing its most loyal constituents," he said in a news conference to announce that he is becoming an Independent and the sole member of the Independent Urban Democracy Caucus.
  • Michigan state Rep. John Olumba leaves Democratic Caucus, declares himself Independent (Jonathan Oosting, Michigan Live) "I am declaring today that I desire for the speaker, other leaders and members of the House to recognize my status accurately as what it is: Independent," Olumba said during an afternoon press conference at the Capitol, explaining a House resolution he introduced earlier in the day. "I declare myself to be a member of the Independent Urban Democracy Caucus that recognizes and puts as a priority the poor and disenfranchised persons of this state."

  • It’s time to open up the District’s primaries (By Thomas M. Smith, Washington Post Opinions) f lawmakers really want to clean up city government, however, there’s a simpler step they can take: Open up the District’s closed partisan primaries, which discourage talented people from challenging entrenched incumbents.
  • Editorial: Open primary in Montana would help tame partisian politics (EDITORIAL Bozeman Daily Chronicle) Unfortunately, the bill, sponsored by Rep. Scott Reichner, was tabled by the House State Administration Committee Thursday, and its chances of moving forward this session are slim. Still, it’s an idea that has worked in other states and could work well for Montana in the future. Our current primary system is too easily manipulated by the fringe. An open primary would offer a workable solution.
  • Bigfork lawmaker wants to open up primary elections (y Marnee Banks - MTN News, KAJ18 Kalispell MT) State Representative Scott Reichner (R-Bigfork) wants to open up Montana's primary elections so that voters don't have to choose a ballot for one party or another.
    Pauls leery of using closed primary - Rep states adoption of method by Dems is bid to prevent conservative wins. (By Mary Clarkin - The Hutchinson News - KS) Thomas Witt, leader of the Kansas Progressive Caucus in the Kansas Democratic Party, made the motion to adopt a closed primary method, during the party's Washington Days in February. He said his motive was to keep unaffiliated voters from voting in Democratic precinct committee races.
  • Kansas Democrats vote to close primaries (By AP, Dodge Globe) the Democratic State Committee voted 86-61 on Saturday in favor of the change, which allows Democrats to identify voters more easily to urge them to vote in the general election.

1 comment:

richardwinger said...

Los Angeles just had a non-partisan election for Mayor and city party labels, the very system this blog celebrates. Turnout was 17%, even though the incumbent was not running for re-election and open seats typically generate more voter interest. The existence of strong political parties does mobilize voters; that is one reason political parties are useful. Of course having a multi-party system is far better than just Republicans and Democrats.