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View Diary: 2012 candidates versus the expectations game (87 comments)

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  •  Seems to work well for CA. (0+ / 0-)

    The problem with closed primaries is the Tea Party effect. The most ideologically committed faction tends to skew the selection process. So you have two things happening. First, the more extreme on nominee is, the less centrist the opponent has to be. The second is that an incumbent has to adopt much more extreme legislative positions than they would otherwise in order to ward off primary challenges. So, although in principle one might want to afford Parties their choice of candidate, it hardly helps the cause of democracy by giving voters a choice between dumb and dumber.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 11:26:43 AM PST

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    •  I really don't care about that, and I don't think (4+ / 0-)

      it is true anyway.  Here in Oregon we don't have a major problem with extremists winning primaries.  Tea Party candidates usually lose to establishment Republicans.  Social conservatives usually get fewer votes than moderate Republicans.  See the 2008 Republican primary for OR-05, or the Republican gubernatorial primaries in 2002 and 2006.  And on the other side the Dem primary for governor in 2006 or when Blue Dog Kurt Schrader beat a more progressive Democrat in the 2008 primary, but he fits the swing district he represents.  Telling me it seems to work in California means nothing to me, as an Oregonian.  In fact, it might make it less appealing to me.  

      And is it working well?  It ended up creating a situation where Gary Miller is still in congress in a seat a Democrat should have won.

      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

      by James Allen on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 11:37:39 AM PST

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      •  I have heard about the parochialism of Oregonians. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gygaxian

        Now I see what it looks like.

        For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

        by Anne Elk on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 12:18:38 PM PST

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        •  I appreciate the depth of your argument in this (4+ / 0-)

          comment.

          ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

          by James Allen on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 12:26:27 PM PST

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          •  Actually, I apologize. I don't really think about (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stevenaxelrod, LtNOWIS

            Oregon at all to tell the truth. But the point is that the political system of this country is really broken. So arguing from the point of view of what you think is good for Oregon doesn't really address the larger question, does it? The CA experience has been very instructive for the rest of the country. We now have a really huge majority of non-Silly Party people in our legislature, and a pretty decent House delegation with the odd exception. Over the coming years, you will see the demise of extremists as a controlling element in the CA GOP due to the changes we have made. The changes are not instantaneous, but they are having an effect, unless you think having one Party run by rightwing extremists is a good idea.

            For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

            by Anne Elk on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 01:14:12 PM PST

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            •  if that party is in a deep minority (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              R30A, Theodore J Pickle

              as they have less than 1/3 of the legislature, does it really matter?

              Also, since this is a state election law in California and Washington, shouldn't we, before we declare it should be adopted in every state, actually look and see how conditions are in individual states?

              ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

              by James Allen on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 02:06:18 PM PST

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    •  I don't see how top two (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thetadelta, sapelcovits

      helps correct the problem you identified of a system deeply resistant to change. As difficult as a primary challenge was before, it is that much more difficult now due to top two.

      And James already brought up the CA-31 example. This shows that parties need to coalesce around a single candidate early in the process rather than run a bunch of candidates, which cuts down on the choices the voters have. This seems to make the process even more insular and potential to corruption.

      •  Well, if the object is a 2-party system, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Woody

        I don't see how it helps to have one of those 2parties utterly fucked by the primary system. And that is a fact. The GOP has been wrecked by the system and it is now fucking the country.

        For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

        by Anne Elk on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 12:17:23 PM PST

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    •  But it leaves too many voters underrepresented (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      Why should Democratic voters, especially in a lean-Democratic district, be punished because their party can find multiple strong candidates that split the base, while the Republicans put forward 2 mediocre ones who squeeze through into the general? This system is unsustainable, it would never work for the rest of the country, and I think it's absolutely debatable whether or not it "works for California". How does it "work" when it leaves voters underrepresented?

      "No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die. And that matters." --Elizabeth Warren

      by foreverblue on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 06:52:36 AM PST

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