Sunday, August 17, 2008

Washington's Top 2 primary system: death knell for the major parties?

This is a great article, with some choice quotes from some of the folks on the ballot for this country's first top-2 primary system. I have long hated the 2-party system, especially as gerrymandering has allowed the parties to artificially remain entrenched in government. And especially as the issues are more and more complex yet the parties try to divide the country evenly into two camps. I think the rise of independent and "swing" voters has shown that our views can't be so easily divided along party lines. Although there are many of the "swing" voters who just seem to be lazy or noncommittal (as I saw during the caucuses when many had not even researched the candidates. No wonder they couldn't decide! They wanted others to do the deciding/persuading for them).

I pride myself on being a truly independent voter. Although I often prefer candidates of a progressive democratic nature since many of my values match theirs in general, I can't stand party-line votes just for the sake of voting party line. I would prefer to have a parliamentary system as that would allow for more shifting coalitions rather than just two giant parties trying to please everyone but pleasing no-one (is it any wonder the congressional ratings are worse than GW Bush?).

I just cast my ballot for the top-2 primary and am excited to think that Oregon and other states could follow our lead.

Lights out for parties? Tuesday’s top two primary could signal a new political era for Washington state-, Clark County, Washington, Vancouver, Breaking News, U.S., World, Entertainment, Video, Weather, Sports

I did laugh when I read Clarence Thomas' quote from this article but I at least agree with him on principle; not sure where that sentiment falls in relation to the constitution though.

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