Legislators Unite to Derail Primary Measure...
Posted by C
So says a headline in today's L.A. Times.
You just gotta be suspicious when Republicans and Democrats get together on an issue.
[The Voter Choice Open Primary Act] initiative would replace the current system of party primaries with one primary election open to all candidates and voters. The two candidates who won the most votes would then fight it out in the general election. Presidential elections as well as those for political party posts would be exempted.
Clearly this would be a blow to the established parties: They wouldn't be guaranteed a place in the general election, and (heh heh) two candidates from the same party might be battling in the general election in those districts so gerrymandered that one party will have won the first and second places in the primary.
In Los Angeles, we have "non-partisan" elections for City and County offices. That reform from the early part of the last century was intended to break the stranglehold of the established parties, but it didn't work. That was, however, largely because contenders for public office are not allowed
to put their party affiliation on the ballot. And the districts are so big that the Democratic and Republican parties can still field their candidates with great big bankrolls that minor party candidates or non-affiliated candidates can't overcome. Elections in Los Angeles are usually just name-recognition contests.
The VCOPA allows party affiliation to be printed on the ballot, and many districts-- congressional, state legislative...-- are much smaller than the city and county districst in Los Angeles.
So I think it's worth a try.
Those slimy Republicans and Democrats will field an initiative in the same election in an attempt to undermine the VCOPA. They hope that their initiative will get more votes, partly by including a provision-- thoroughly unrelated to elections-- to earmark monies from the sale of state surplus property to debt management, and so nullify the VCOPA in the event that it wins.