Not Your Party

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The Republicans and Democrats in WA have agreed to choose their candidates by nominating convention instead of primary this year.

See, a couple of years ago, the parties sued because they didn't like the fact that WA had a blanket primary, meaning anyone can vote for anyone. The entire point of a primary is for parties to choose their own candidates, so it makes no sense of any kind to say that anyone can vote for any candidate.

A federal court case in California opened the door for a suit in WA, which was successful, and the blanket primary was abolished.

Since there is no party registration in WA, they used the same system that is used for the caucuses: by participating in the primary for one party, you temporarily identify with that party for this purpose, and you don't get to participate in the election of any other party for that cycle. Simple enough, and something WA is used to.

But the outcry was enormous. "They're taking away our choices!," people cried. Well, only if you were voting for people in multiple parties, which defeats the purpose of a primary. In that case, yes, you have less choice, which is good.

So some people came up with a solution to their perceived woes, that they believe is in sufficient agreement with the previous Supreme Court decision on the matter: an adoption of something similar to the "Top Two" in Louisiana. The primary is a blanket one, but instead of the top candidate from each party advancing, you get only the top two candidates overall advancing.

There are many legal arguments for and against -- mostly against -- this plan. But bottom line, it takes away the rights of the parties to decide on their own candidates, and the right to even get ON the general election ballot if they have enough signatures to do so, and significantly reduces the choice for the voters in the general election.

There is nothing remotely good about this plan. But the voters were so mad about losing the blanket primary that they blindly voted for it.

So now the parties are taking back their rightful power to choose their own candidates. They are basically saying, "fine, if that's the way you want it, we won't participate in your stupid primary," and there will only be one Republican and one Democrat on the primary ballot.

Because the people passed I-872, they will have less choice on the primary ballot, and less choice on the general election ballot.

Congratulations, people. I tried to warn you.

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on March 8, 2005 3:40 PM.

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