I live in Pennsylvania now. We're about dead last in the primary
system. I haven't voted for a candidate I wanted since I left
Manhattan. The last primary that mattered was '92 when I voted for
Moonbeam over Slick Willie. Hey - Moonbeam boned Linda Ronstadt back
when that meant something...
That means something very different downunder. In aboriginal folklore
the witchdoctor equivilant would point a bone at someone present or
absent and they would just get sick and die. They had been boned.
So you desire 300 million candidates right on up to Nov. so everybody can
vote for their candidate of choice? Or do you desire all 50 states to be
first in the primary race? Or you just don't think losing candidates should
be allowed to drop out?
It may be antiquated (is that a bad thing?) but broken? When was the last
time that the most popular candidate did not come out on top? Obviously
winning does not always guarantee job competence<G>.
Are you sure the sour grapes isn't just the fruit of "your guy" not making
the cut? Rod
The context and intent was primaries and the primary process......Speaking
of 2000 though, I never expected in my lifetime to see a "electoral college"
victory...a nifty example of state rights trumping a federal monolith. I
never expected to have a volcano blow (MT St. Helen) 50 miles away
either...life has such cool surprises<G>....Rod
It blew on my 30th B'day, start of an interesting decade. I don't
think any of us living in the area expected it to actually happen. I
decided to hike on my B'day weekend. Was thinking about the area
north of St Helens, but decided to go to the enchanted valley on the
west side of the Olympics. One of the best choices I've ever made in
life. Far as the primaries go, as long as the current party system
controls how the elected legislaters vote it won't work as orignianlly
planned. The parties in this state have turned our primary into a
waste of funding.
On Thu, 31 Jan 2008 10:33:56 -0800, "Rod & Betty Jo"
No, the original system was fine; this idea that independents and/or
cross-over voters (depending upon the state) have the ability to help
decide the parties' candidate is troubling. What is especially troubling
is that this lassaiz faire attitude toward who gets to vote in primaries is
predominant in early primary states and has the ability to skew the results
and candidates for the rest of the country. Look at who voted for McCain
in the various primaries that allowed either independents or cross-overs to
vote. Same issue could apply to the dems as well; this serves to weaken
the parties' platforms and their ability to maintain a cohesive message.
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
Primary elections were not part of the original Presidential
election system. They still aren't, in some states.
_A_ problem is that primaries are partisan in the first place.
One alternative is impose a reasonable high bar, in the form
of the number of signatures on a petition to get on the ballot,
so as to limit the candidates to a dozen or so. Then hold a
series of elections to eliminate the candidates from the bottom
up, similar to how they are eliminated in the Iowa Caucases,
until one gets more than 50% of the vote. This was done for
state and local elections in OK (maybe still is) and there were
seldom more than two elections needed to arrive
at a winner.
There is no Constitutional requirement that states have
Presidential primaries or even Presidential elections.
So think hard before you suggest amending the Constitution,
else you have better be especially tough.
The original presidential election system was to have the voting citizens
(usually limited to land-owners and taxpayers -- a concept that would do us
a world of good today by the way) vote for electors who then voted for the
president. Are you recommending returning to that system?
No, if one has a two-party system, doesn't matter what one calls the
parties, that has an essential dichotomy of view toward the role of
government, then it darn well does matter that the primaries are partisan.
That is certainly one way to approach things; but that is just it, it is
*a* way that has may have some benefits but will also carry some detriments
OK. But they do, and that is the system under discussion. Some of the
states, particularly the early voting states allow both cross-over voting
and undeclared voters to vote in party primaries. The issue here is that
this tends to be detrimental to both parties (with the biggest detriment to
the Republicans in this election cycle) as it weakens the fundamental
message of each of those parties regarding their stand on the role of
government and tends to winnow out those candidates with strong messages
early in the process due to the influence of those outside the party.
Where on earth in my postings did I ever mention anything remotely
resembling amending the Constitution?
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
That proposal never made it out of the Constitutional Convention.
It is not possible to 'return' to a system that was never used.
We do NOT have a two party system. We have a system that
preserves the freedom of association that permits the formation
of parties, and an election system that tends to make more
than two parties unviable.
I don' t have any problem with parties choosing and supporting
candidates. My objection is to different rules for ballot access
for candidates of the two largest parties vs everyone else.
_That_ is the problem, the reduction of so many issues to a false
dichotomy. Grouping those dichotomies into only two sets compounds
Yep. Any system will have pros and cons. If it is a political
system, the politicians will no doubt provide most of the
cons, in more way than one.
Yes. It is a state issue.
And not allowing them disenfranchises people who refuse to join
either party, violating THEIR freedom of (non) association as well
as their equal protection.
It ALSO makes no sense to have anyone but a patry member choose
candidates for that party.
One way to address those two problems is to eliminate
partisan primaries per se (the parties can still hold internal
elections if they wish--that's their business just leave the
government out of the loop) and use a runoff-elimination
system. IF there are two strong parties then the final
election will come down to a contest between one candidate
from each no matter how many of each start off at the bottom
tier. And registered voter gets to vote at every stage.
SOMEBODY suggested a national primary. THAT would require
a constitutional amendment taking from the individual states
the authority to determine thier won ways to choose electors.
... and right now and for most of the country's history, there has
effectively been a two-party system. Whigs & Tory's, Republicans and
Democrats, this has been the historical context in which things have shaken
out for this country. Someday a viable third party may come into
existence, that is not the reality of the here and now.
Why? Each of the parties should be able to define the rules for how its
members select candidates. Why should someone who is not a member and thus
not bound by either affection or common vision be allowed to dictate terms
to something to which they are not a party? If someone feels that strongly
about something, then they should have the fortitude to be willing to make
a declaration and actually join one of the parties.
A third party that bounds the problems differently is certainly welcome to
joint the band. After all, only *one* person achieves office and people
better know what the fundamental views of that person are. It used to mean
that people in the Democrat party were tied to a platform and philosophy
that viewed government as the solution to problems, advocated increased
government involvement in all aspects of life, with the attendant increased
regulations on business and individuals. The Republican party by contrast,
viewed government as the problem and pushed for more action at the state
level and a less powerful federal government. To say that these lines have
become blurred is an understatement.
That is a ludicrous statement. Why in the world should anyone who doesn't
have the willingess to join a certain party be allowed by that party to
participate in the decisions of that party? That is akin to me walking
into a meeting of the Elks or a Moose Lodge and demanding that they change
their policies to allow me to select members and who they choose as their
There is no reason why a political party should expect that its policies
and positions should be dictated by those unwilling to join or support it.
It further makes no sense to have anyone but party members choose who is
the candidate for that party.
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
That may be the case, but it's not the way the system was set up, it's
the way the people apparently want it. The people can vote for any of a
dozen parties, the majority simply vote for one of the big two.
Personally, I can't think of a way that a third party could
differentiate itself from the big two enough to make it worthwhile to
have a "big three". Any differences seem to be small matters of policy,
not major platform issues.
The differences between one dempublican and another are small
matters of policy compared to the difference between them and
the third parties--Greens, Socialists, Libertarians etc.
I think that was your point, right?
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