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I just put up an OP abt Prop 14 in California. It will limit

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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-10 04:23 PM
Original message
I just put up an OP abt Prop 14 in California. It will limit
Edited on Wed Mar-17-10 04:25 PM by truedelphi
the ability of anyone who did not receive either first or second place in the primary from seeking that office for that year. In other words, if you do not win or "place" in the Primary, you are finished.

A court case effort that some activists were hoping would throw Prop 14 off the ballot has failed.

I have no idea whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. What do people here know about this?

My longer OP on this is up in GD forum.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-10 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. It's a mixed bag
Prop 14, in essence, makes all elections runoff elections. The first election, in June, would be open to everybody irregardless of their political party, just as elections are now. You'd have multiple Democrats, multiple Republicans, multiple Greens, etc. The difference is that, instead of running against their own party to determine party nominations, they'd run against EACH OTHER.

The top two vote getters in the initial election then get to go forward to the second and main election in the fall. In heavily Democratic areas, this might mean that the fall ballot could have two Democrats on it and no Republicans. In heavily conservative areas, voters may end up choosing between a "fiscal conservative" and a teabagger, with no Democrats allowed on the ballot. In competetive areas, there would be little change other than the exclusion of third party candidates.

That's not to say that it would kill off third parties. Far from it. Several election analysts have pointed out that a free-for-all primary election, with voters split among various candidates from the same party, would result in a lower overall vote percentage for each individual candidate. This would essentially "lower the bar", making it easier for a third party candidate to make it into the general. Example:

We have an election with 7 people running for Governor. At the end of the June primary, here are the results:

Smith-Democrat: 21%. Johnson-Democrat: 14%. Williams-Democrat: 17%. Jones-Green: 18%. Brown-Republican: 10%. Miller-Republican: 17%. Duke-Tea: 3%

In the fall election, the voters would be choosing between Smith (D) and Jones (G). There would be no Republicans on the ballot.

It's an interesting idea, but I'm really not sure whether it would survive the inevitable court challenge.
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