Thursday, October 16, 2014

The bizarre campaign for Oregon Measure 90.

Folks, I've been watching this for awhile, up here in Washington State, where we've had the top-two primary for a spell, primarily as a way to avoid party registration.

It will accomplish precisely none of the things supporters claim.

That doesn't mean I'd be opposed to it: even as Executive Director of the State Republicans, I supported the open primary system we had back then, and I knew that if the parties screwed around with the system it would come back to bite us.

But the claims pro-Measure 90 types make, including this "It's time to get Washington to listen to us," for example, or "...give Oregonians more choices when they vote, letting them select the best candidates for the job regardless of political party," or "...will provide voting rights to the more than 650,000 independent-minded Oregonians who are now barred from participating in primary elections simply because they choose not to register with a particular political party," or "...will end the extreme partisanship that’s gridlocking government by electing candidates who will work together to build consensus," are absurd on their face.

First of all, "Washington" (Presumably of the D.C. variety) doesn't care.  It's a lie to claim that somehow, they would.

Secondly, it does NOT "...give ... more choices when.." you vote: by definition, it drastically restricts the number of choices by, effectively, excluding the 3rd parties.

Thirdly, the voting "rights" of independents do not NEED to be "restored."  It's like any other choice: don't like it, don't do it.  If one of these people is so concerned about voting in the primary, then join a party.  Voila'!  Problem solved.

There's nothing to "restore" because nothing was "taken away."

And finally, the very IDEA that it will end ANY gridlock is rank absurdity.

Even WITH this system, when different parties control different Houses, gridlock will be as much an issue AFTER this system is adopted as it was before.

Vote for it or against it, obviously that's up to you. After all, California has it, and they are one, big, ongoing, massive train wreck of a state. But don't believe that adopting this system will result in any noticeable change at the individual voter level, one way or the other. 

Because in the end, with the exception of obliterating the minor parties... won't.

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