[EM] Dave: Primaries, runoffs

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Sun Jan 5 12:35:59 PST 2003

On Sun, 5 Jan 2003 09:52:01 -0800 (PST) Alex Small wrote:

> Dave said:
>>How does a party get its millions of members together for such a
>>convention to nominate a candidate for governor in NY or CA? Once
>>together, how do the members manage to accomplish anything useful?
> then Mike said:
>>You're missing the point, Dave: How they get their people together, and
>>how they accomplish anything useful when they're together--those are
>>their problems, not the problem of government, not a problem that the
>>public should spend its much money on.
> I recall that the Reform Party has experimented with voting by mail in
> privately run primaries.

Consumed LOTS of $$$$; had room for lots of corruption (who gets to vote, 
and how many times).

> Also, parties often like to preserve "purity" in primaries.  Witness the
> way Republicans recoiled in horror when registered independents and
> Democrats campaigned for John McCain in 2000.  (Oh no!  Independent
> thinkers who don't like Al Gore are joining forces with us!  Help!)  So,
> parties might consider conducting primaries with volunteers who go to core
> constituencies, and only core constituencies.  Democrats could send
> volunteers with ballots to union meetings and Hollywood.  Republicans
> could send volunteers with ballots to NRA meetings and Enron executives.

Bad enough for the major parties - could destroy smaller parties such as 
the Greens, where there are more available outsiders than members - giving 
the outsiders control over who gets nominated to "represent" the Greens.

Sending volunteers to voter groups with known biases also destroys ability 
to see what party members desire.

> If the parties don't like to do it themselves, then they can use the
> public primaries, but they must allow anybody who shows up to vote in
> their primaries.  After all, if it's public then it's public.  If it's
> private then it's private.  (Of course, one could reasonably stipulate
> that voters in public primaries only get to vote in one party's contests,
> just as parents can't send their kids to one public high school for math
> class and another for history class.)

      Every voter in the public has the right to be a party member, and 
vote in that party's primary, and otherwise participate in that party's 
      Could let parties each nominate as many candidates as they choose. 
Primaries are a mechanism for restricting each party to a single candidate 
for general election.
      Could set up a primary for independent nominations, and let voters 
who are not party members vote hers.  Unacceptable, for there are reasons 
to permit multiple independent candidates.

> One could justify the expense by observing that some places hold local a
> few local elections during the primaries, and perhaps decide ballot
> initiatives.  The polls were going to be open that day, with or without
> partisan primaries.
> Alex

  davek at clarityconnect.com    http://www.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
   Dave Ketchum    108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708    607-687-5026
              Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
                    If you want peace, work for justice.

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