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View Diary: We unlucky few: A look at the incumbents who lost their primaries, 1994-2012 (55 comments)

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  •  Moar primary challenges, plz (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, birdboy2000, Odysseus, Ahianne

    In a healthier democracy, most primary elections would be contested.

    About California's "top two" "primary," the whole state is living in Abel Maldonado's failed fever dream. For example, you can have a situation in which there's a Democratic majority district with four liberal candidates and two conservative candidates, and the liberals split the vote such that the conservatives are the only two in the "general" election.

    Ultimately I believe top two is an attack on freedom of association. Instead of a formalized contest for who represents which party, now the action is in behind-the-scenes wrangling to clear the field.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:31:10 PM PDT

    •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gabjoh

      the quantity of candidates must now be controlled to avoid such situations.  Top two is pretty dumb.

      •  It's suboptimal but an improvement over (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy

        the previous status quo.

        21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
        politicohen.com
        Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
        UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

        by jncca on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 04:21:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree strongly (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stephen Wolf, Simplify, gabjoh

          it makes a game out of the primary day.  Instead of the important race being the general election, undue attention is paid to how many candidates are running in the top two.  And considering how Democrats have worse turnout on primary day, it's rigging the system slightly for Republicans, allowing shutouts like CA-31 to happen.

          When that doesn't happen, and the general election features one Republican and one Democrat, then everything's okay.  But then what is the point of the top-two then?

          •  The point of the top two (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            is to create Dem on Dem or GOP on GOP generals in safe districts.  It has succeeded moderately, including but not limited to Butler-Bloom and Levine in the Assembly and Baca-McLeod, Cook-Imus, and Stark-Swalwell in Congress.  

            21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
            politicohen.com
            Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
            UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

            by jncca on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 09:06:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  When it's D on D, or R on R, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Skaje, gabjoh

              that's supposed to be called a primary.

              The ostensible goal is to get moderate politicians elected. But I think that's an illegitimate goal. What's so objectively optimal about moderates that the structure of the electoral system has to skew in their favor?

              It hasn't worked out like that anyway. One study showed that, since top 2, the Democrats have stayed as liberal and the Republicans have gotten more conservative... just like pretty much anywhere else.

              Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

              by Simplify on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 10:39:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Most healthy democracies don't have many primaries (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, Skaje, Simplify

      The "healthiest" democracies by almost any metric are those of northern and western Europe, plus a few essentially similar countries like Australia. In parliamentary systems like most of those countries use, candidates are generally selected within the party, and anything resembling a primary is typically not especially competitive. France, which has a semi-presidential system, didn't have a competitive internal election until 2012, and its legislative nominations are rarely seriously contested as well. The prevalence of primaries doesn't seem to correlate with the health of a democracy at all.

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