Letter: Parties Should Choose Their Own Candidates

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[Note: in Snohomish County, WA, we begin the nominating convention process next week, with caucuses. Same thing is happening in King County. And people are angry because they won't have as much of a voice in selecting candidates as they thought they would when they voted for an initiative that would partially restore the so-called "blanket primary" that the courts threw out.]

The reason political parties exist is for like-minded people to come together to further their own political interests. The Supreme Court recognizes the right to free association and this true nature of political parties, and concludes parties themselves should therefore choose who represents them on a ballot.

The reason a primary exists is to nominate candidates of a given party to office. It used to be, some nominees were chosen by primary, and others merely got enough signatures to be nominated to the general election as independents, or members of third parties. But now, neither of these methods exists: only the top two of all candidates in the primary are in the general election, reducing the freedom of people to put candidates on the ballot, reducing choice, and abolishing the purpose of the primary.

Having lost their right to place a candidate of their choice on the general election ballot, parties do what they must: they limit the candidates who affiliate with them to one, chosen in a nominating convention, as is their absolute right.

Don't blame the parties here. Blame yourselves for not understanding what you voted for last November. slashdot.org

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