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View Diary: Paved with good intentions: The folly of 'open' electoral primaries (151 comments)

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  •  The "open" primary is an invitation to (14+ / 0-)

    abuse. As a Californian, I was appalled that the measure passed. The story in the diary is a more complex and interesting unintended consequence than simply voting for the worst candidate of the other side so your side can win in the general. Parties should at least have the right to choose their own candidates. Sheesh!

    •  As a former Oregon "Republican" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, MPociask

      That is exactly what I did: register Republican, vote Democratic. So, your solution, since it's based on considerable cynicism, is open to use (or abuse if you choose) today anywhere. Simply register for the other party and vote in the general your true affiliation.

      I cannot remember voting for a Republican outside of the primary. The only reason I became a Democrat, was Barack Obama: the only candidate the Democrats have put up since Kennedy that I felt even remotely comfortable supporting.

      I remember watching the Democratic presidential challengers debating: Paul Tsongas, Jerry Brown and several others including Bill Clinton. I was praying for anyone but Clinton. Look what I got. I voted for Bill twice.

      There is a lot more to the story than "open primaries" and I think Steve S. needs to sharpen his pencil just a bit and dig in to see why a district that Barack Obama carried by 62% found 52% voting Republican in the general congressional district.

      I like open primaries. Period. Ranked voting would be even better.

      What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. King Henry, scene ii

      by TerryDarc on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 09:41:19 AM PDT

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      •  Operation Hilarity (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TerryDarc, codairem, pixxer

        Didn't Kos himself advocate just that in last year's Republican primary? IIRC the intended "beneficiary" was Rick Santorum.

        “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Lyndon Baines Johnson

        by spacecadet1 on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 10:24:43 AM PDT

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      •  no, you're getting it wrong (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pixxer

        this district ended up voting 100% for Republicans in the general election because the open primary system ended up sending two Republicans to the general election.

        ...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 Jul 28, 2013 at 11:11:12 AM PDT

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    •  Why should parties have any power? (5+ / 0-)

      You have made an argument against primaries, whether open or closed.

      The GOP has chosen to drive me away from them because they have allowed bigots and fools to run the party for the benefit of the 0.1%. I strongly identify myself as a Democrat, now, but that doesn't mean that I want the party to control who the candidates will be.

      In Wisconsin, one of the problems with eight years of Doyle is that the far right didn't seem all that far right at the end of it. Doyle was progressive in a few areas, but in most areas he was not much different from Tommy Thompson.

      Americans can make our country better.

      by freelunch on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 10:00:39 AM PDT

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      •  To ask is to answer (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        codairem, freelunch, pixxer, Chas 981

        George Washington was right.  Factions are bad for democracy.  Reducing governance to a team sport is bad for democracy.  Parties should be eliminated, and party-based positions in state/federal legislatures eliminated (Ranking Republican Member of X___, etc.).  

        But good luck convincing the party-based political power system to do that.

        •  You do realize... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Marcus Graly

          Washington generally sided with the Federalists (even if he wasn't formally a member). Washington also had a view of the presidency that it really wasn't supposed to try to influence congress at all, and only veto bills that are blatantly unconstitutional, rather than take any active role in governance.

          Factions are an inevitable part of any democracy, and that's a good thing, people have legitimate disagreements with each other and a stake in getting legislation passed that advances their own policy goals (and that others want to stop).

          To put this another way, can you name me any democracy that doesn't have formal political parties?

          Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 27 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

          by NMLib on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:14:49 PM PDT

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          •  Political Parties (0+ / 0-)

            "To put this another way, can you name me any democracy that doesn't have formal political parties?"

            Exactly. Well put, NMLib.

            The only ones that don’t have formal political parties? I can’t think of any. The ones with the weakest parties are generally the least democratic. When you don’t have political parties, power falls to other institutions, like churches/mosques, tribes/tribal groupings, city-states, militias, and a ton of other organizations that we probably don’t want running the government.

            The problem in America isn’t that we have 2 political parties, it’s that we only have 2 political parties, effectively.

            Yeah, sure, we have 3rd parties, but our system is effectively a 2-party system and always will be. It would be much more representative if there were 4 or 5 major parties. Sigh. If only.

            Kansan by birth, Californian by choice and Gay by the Grace of God.

            by arealmc on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 10:17:21 PM PDT

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      •  You, as The Party, have a right to assist (0+ / 0-)

        in that choice, w/o the loyal opposition casting their vote in your primary.

    •  The old system also invited abuse. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MPociask, codairem, pixxer

      The measure is an attempt to break the two party monopoly. As I pointed out in my remark below, to point to one undesirable result as reason to oppose the open primary makes no sense. We had more good results than bad last election. In fact, the GOP lost FOUR House seats in 2012.

      So I can see why the Republicans might dislike the new system of open primaries and redrawn districts, but not why a Democrat would.

      •  the people who try to market this system claim (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Zack from the SFV, skohayes, pixxer, NMLib

        that it is an attempt to break the two party duopoly, but they have little interest in that. They just like how it generally ends up in moderates getting elected.

        ...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 Jul 28, 2013 at 11:12:16 AM PDT

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