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View Diary: Paved with good intentions: The folly of 'open' electoral primaries (151 comments)

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  •  Never Have Seen The Benefit In This System (5+ / 0-)

    There is no guarantee that the two top candidates will represent the dominant views of the electorate. That can be seen in the example that you cited. Never have been a fan of California's non-partisan local elections where party affiliations are not stated. Party identification is still a major way for voters to identify the views of a candidate. Take it out of the mix and you lower voter turnout because the election seems less intensely competitive on the face of it without party ID. Also produces stealth candidates where peopl might end up voting for someone who ultimately does not reflect their views.

    •  I think you're mistaken. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MPociask, codairem

      First, the idea of party ID as a reflection of the candidate's views has lost legitimacy as the parties have grown to resemble each other increasingly.  

      Second, I don't know why you say that elections seem less competitive on their face without party ID.  Speaking purely personally, I haven't found it to be particularly true.  

      Finally, both major parties, no less than splintery third parties, have become highly adept at running "stealth candidates" (who turn out immediately after election not to believe the things they ran on).  Indeed, the modern art of campaigning amounts largely to persuading the broadest possible swath of the electorate that the candidate shares their views.  By its nature, that is least a somewhat deceptive enterprise.  And the broader the success, the more dishonest it is.  I don't see what you think party ID has to do with it.  

      •  If you are a high info voter (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FG, rlochow, Leo Flinnwood

        If you are a high info voter, who goes to every forum and researches every candidate for every position party ID might be completely irrelevent, but that's not how most people work.

        And party ID has become more relevent because despite your dissatisfaction with the degree of demarcation between parties, there are clear issues where the divide is a short hand.  There is a much more clear party line and a much more cohesive party block at practically all levels of government than there was decades ago.  The label means more.  You're less likely to vote for a D and get Gene Taylor.  You're less likely to vote for an R and get Lincoln Chaffee.  

        When it comes to city council, the soil and water commission, school board, sheriffs, judges (though elected judges is a whole other debate) a party affiliation might seem unneccessary because of course everyone sees each other at the same general store, they all talked to the candidate at the county fair, read the local county paper and everyone knows Molly is more liberal than Jim, but than there is the majority of voters who are going in blind, if they are lucky clutching their party sample ballot to do a vote more sophisticated than "I'm Irish, Jim's name is Irish, vote for Jim."  When the party doesn't matter it is much harder to put "I love my wife, look at my lovely children, isn't our state grand, puppies and kittens" candidates in context, and the stealth is a lot less likely to be caught out.

        We might like to think we have an informed electorate, that all voters know the position between everyone with a line on the ballot, but that is universally not true even in the highest profile (pres and senate) races, and soil and water board- forget it.

      •  BUNK! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skibum59, SuetheRedWA

        The parties have actually grown to resemble each other LESS, as the GOP has become unacceptably extreme to more and more people. Like it or not, party ID is a key way people identify candidates who line up with their beliefs.

        I have never seen a Democrat "stealth candidate" run to try as a Republican to dupe Republicans into voting for them, and with the gap between parties diverged into a chasm, that would be virtually impossible now. Most "stealth candidates" ry to be blank slates to to try to conceal extremist views — which are those of the GOP, not the ridiculously moderate often too timid Democratic Party.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

        by anastasia p on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 02:21:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Here's one advantage: (5+ / 0-)

      The top-two system rules out scenarios where an extreme candidate wins the general election with 38% of the vote. (Maine Gov. Paul LePage, for example.)  An extremist may still win, but he/she will at least need to appeal to 50%+ of the voters.

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