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Open Primaries?


Living in Ikoria
Staff member
I read an interesting editorial commentary in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch yesterday, discussing how open primaries - as seen in California - would be a good idea. I'm intrigued and would like to hear what people on GF think of the idea. I think that the pro of it outweighs the cons: that we'd be hearing from political candidates from every party from the beginning, and would have more options as voters. It would be more about issues. The con would probably be the opportunity for illegitimate candidates to be involved (as with that California gubernatorial race a few years back).

I'll post the commentary below. Thoughts? Would you prefer this system? What are some of the good and bad sides to it?

Editorial notebook: Open primaries would reduce partisan divide


Lion Rampant
I call it the Ruben Studdard effect, after the meme that went around to vote that singer the second American Idol instead of the far more talented Clay Aiken, simply because it promised to be funny. During the 2008 primary season, Rush Limbaugh exhorted his listeners to declare themselves Democrats temporarily for the purpose of voting for Hillary Clinton, thus knocking stronger candidate Barack Obama out of the race. Because they would have to officially switch parties, however, few went along with the attempted 'fix'. Imagine if they had, and ask yourself whether someone with the morals of a Rushbo wouldn't try to rig the system in the future, if the stumbling block of registered party affiliation were removed on the national level. If that kind of negative, cross-party manipulation ever became an acceptable and commonplace thing in the United States, it could permanently ruin our system of representative democracy.

"What we have today is a far cry from what the Founders intended," Mr. Edwards argues. "George Washington and James Madison both warned of the dangers posed by political parties."
Funny, isn't it, how this never comes up at presidential debates?
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