TODAY’S ELECTION: PROP 14 TO DRAMATICALLY ALTER FUTHER PRIMARIESJune 8, 2010 7:50 am Uncategorized
By John M. Rogitz
If you’re heading to the polling booth today, your vote may dramatically alter every subsequent California primary election. Sounds a bit melodramatic for a June election, doesn’t it? Well in one respect, it’s not.
Proposition 14 is on today’s ballot. If passed, this measure will change the way we hold our primaries to determine who makes it on to the November ballot. Astoundingly, the supporters of Prop 14 believe that limiting the general election to two candidates will be good for democracy. Yup, if Proposition 14 passes, voters will have only two options for partisan offices in November.
I guess that would good for democracy, only in the sense that limiting the competition will somehow end the corruption and frivolousness up in Sacramento. Makes perfect sense to me. So much for independents like myself being able to send a message by voting for a third party.
As I said, Proposition 14 would limit the general election field to two candidates. No write-ins. More than likely, no third parties. Nada. Choice A and Choice B. That’s all you get.
I always thought primaries were more for the parties themselves to sort out who they want as their candidate. Proposition 14 will basically make it the first-round of the playoffs for everyone.
Despite the significance of Prop 14, the polling stations are expecting a low turn out today. Truth be told, I’m not even sure many Americans know that today is primary day. But after today, that class of voters could be robbed of the opportunity to vote for who they think should be in office in the general election. How upset do you think independent Joe-Six-Pack will be when he realizes he has to limit his choice to either Bush’s guys or Obama’s guys?
The response by Prop 14′s supporters (at least those who wrote that asinine argument found in the Voter Information Guide) is that it’s possible to have two Democrats, two Republicans, or no Democrats or Republicans at all on the November ballot. The top two primary vote getters will be the only ones on the ballot, regardless of party affiliation.
Possible? Sure. Probable? Absolutely not.
Considering the big-money backing of the two major parties, I don’t see that as a realistic scenario. Proposition 14 will more than likely exclude third parties and independents from the general election.
I can’t imagine that the Tea-Partiers who are hoping to send a message to Republicans are very happy right now. Despite the magnitude of the movement, they still cannot match the money Republicans have at their disposal. As long as a moderate Republican can beat the Tea Party candidate in the primary, they won’t have to listen to that sect of the voting population come November.
Oh by the way, there’s one more kicker: Candidates may choose to conceal their party affiliation under Prop 14. If the measure passes, candidates can basically mislead voters because the proposed law says the words “No Party Preference” will be inserted in place of the candidate’s political party if that candidate so chooses.
Now how’s that for accountability. Does any one really think Barbara Boxer has no party preference? When’s the last time she went rogue on any Senate vote?
So if you were thinking of passing on today’s primary election because of work, school, your kid’s baseball practice, or whatever…DO NOT. The measure will turn our election process upside down. At the risk of sounding like a paid-for advertisement, vote no on Proposition 14.
COPYRIGHT 2010 JOHN M. ROGITZ