[EM] Re: the simplest election reform

Russ Paielli 6049awj02 at sneakemail.com
Thu Jun 16 20:27:37 PDT 2005

Araucaria Araucana araucaria.araucana-at-gmail.com |EMlist| wrote:
> On 16 Jun 2005 at 14:30 UTC-0700, Anthony Duff wrote:
>>Perhaps there was something specific about the primary that you want
>>eliminated, but every party has to be able to choose a candidate.
> Sure, let parties choose their candidate, but on their own dime.  I
> don't buy the argument that it is in the public interest to publicly
> fund a primary to choose the candidates.  It maintains the status quo
> of two major parties (in the US, at least).

Forcing the parties to pay for their own primaries is perfectly 
reasonable, but I think it would have the opposite effect of what you 
claim (under plurality at least). The big two could afford it, but the 
smaller parties might not be able to afford their own primaries. Under 
the current public financing of primaries, they essentially "piggy-back" 
on the big two. What if the Libertarians and Greens couldn't afford 
their own primaries? That would further entrench the two-party duopoly, 
wouldn't it?

> If ranked ballots or approval are enacted, why not allow all the
> primary candidates on the general election ballot anyway?  With a
> strong ranked scheme or approval it shouldn't hurt the official party
> representatives, and could possibly even help them.  The primary
> losers don't have to actively campaign, but disaffected party voters
> could register some kind of statement without actually losing their
> votes.

Because under most election methods, having multiple candidates from the 
same party would hurt the party's chances. No sane party would allow 
such a situation.

> For example, some 500 voters in last November's Washington State
> governor's race voted for Ron Sims, the Democratic primary loser,
> probably as a statement against Christine Gregoire's 1960's membership
> in a black-excluding sorority.

A statement against her "1960's membership in a black-excluding 
sorority"? Amazing. I wonder how many people realize that Senator Robert 
Byrd (D-WV) was an active member of the KKK in his *forties*? (some 
"youthful indiscretion," eh)

> Presidential campaigns are a different beast, anyway.  Any voting
> change is going to have to start locally, with city, county and
> statewide offices.

Yes, especially considering the Electoral College.


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