California – the laid back state, the Left Coast — has a real American fight going on. There’s a firestorm over California Proposition 14 open primary initiative. We might expect the major parties to oppose a referendum that gives more power to the people and less to the party bosses. The main opponents of Prop 14 are the Dems and Repubs, however the minor parties have jumped on board. Unfortunately Independent Political Report, the prominent Libertarian blog, has now fallen in line (see their editorial yesterday), joining other short-sighted third party forces like the Libertarians and Greens (and Ralph Nader) who oppose Prop 14, a referendum that would give rights to independent (decline-to-state) voters in California and provide an open field for all candidates in the first round of voting. Read independent attorney Harry Kresky’s HuffPo response to Nader “Why Independents are Right and Ralph Nader is Wrong about Proposition 14.”
And William P. Meyers has a very good pro-14 statement at his California Democracy blog.
I don’t buy the fear-driven arguments of the California Democratic, Republican, and Green Parties. What is good for the citizens is not necessarily what is good for the parties. Incumbents tend to have a lock on elections in California, and so small groups of voters, the majority within the dominant party in each district, decide almost all elections in the primaries.
According to a poll released last Thursday by the Public Policy Institute of California, 56 percent of likely voters support Proposition 14.
This from Roger Clark, Fox & Hounds Daily:
Early polling shows the Open Primary initiative has the overwhelming support of about two-thirds of registered voters. But the political parties will do everything within their power to defeat the initiative at polls. Why? The answer is as simple as it is frustrating. The Open Primary transfers political power to the ordinary man and woman.
It’s a fight Americans have been fighting since 1787 — the fight between the people and the parties.
For more news for independent voters, see The Hankster