CA Proposition 14: Democracy without Independent Voters is Like Taxation Without Representation

By Nancy Hanks | Related entries in Independents, News, Open Primaries, Politics

Latest and greatest news and views about California’s open primary initiative, Proposition 14, on the ballot June 8. Partisans showed their true colors last week with back-room deals and litigation on the ballot wording. Prominent independent attorney Harry Kresky’s commentary on HuffPo “Words Matter” sheds lots of light on the nature of our democracy. And Phil Keisling, Oregon’s former Sec. of State who went to bat for that state’s Measure 65 which would have opened the primaries to voters who don’t choose to affiliate with a party, has a neat idea to Reduce Partisanship in today’s NY Times.

OPEN PRIMARIES

  • To Reduce Partisanship, Get Rid of Partisans (By PHIL KEISLING, NY Times)

    PROP 14

  • Open primary is going back to the future (Daniel Borenstein, Contra Costa Times)
  • Editorial: Pérez’s next act must be better than his opener (Sac Bee) Pérez was in charge when the Legislature’s attorneys engaged in a ham-handed attempt to help a union and the Democratic Party win a suit to water down the open primary initiative, Proposition 14 on the June ballot. The effort largely failed in the courts, but not for a lack of trying.
  • New speaker needs to shape up his act (Fresno Bee editorial)
  • Proposition 14 offers mythic solutions for California (San Diego Conservative Examiner, Robert Rische) The problem, however, is Independents already hold all the cards in elections…. Thus, it is hard to understand why this group of voters is continually viewed as being disenfranchised, simply because they choose not to identify themselves with any major party. [NOTE: key word here is "simply"? Hmmm..... Doesn't the term "disenfranchised" stand on its own? -NH]
  • Words Matter: Voters to Get Fair Wording of California Open Primary Initiative (Harry Kresky, Huffington Post)
  • C.A. Orders Slight Change in Proposition 14 Ballot Language (By KENNETH OFGANG, Metropolitan News-Enterprise)
  • Open Primary Will Be on Ballot-Court Quashes Attempt to Derail Prop 14. (by NICK WELSH, Santa Barbara Independent)
  • CLARK v. SUPERIOR COURT OF SACRAMENTO COUNTY – Court of Appeals of California, Third Appellate District, Sacramento. (RAYE, J., Leagle.com)
  • TAYLOR v. SUPERIOR COURT OF SACRAMENTO COUNTY – Court of Appeals of California, Third Appellate District, Sacramento. (RAYE, J., Leagle.com)

    For more news for independent voters, see The Hankster


    This entry was posted on Monday, March 22nd, 2010 and is filed under Independents, News, Open Primaries, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  • 9 Responses to “CA Proposition 14: Democracy without Independent Voters is Like Taxation Without Representation”

    1. Simon Says:

      “Democracy without Independent Voters is Like Taxation Without Representation”? This carries the vapid rhetoric of your earlier posts to truly absurd levels. Whether Prop. 14 passes or fails, the representation of independent voters will be identical: either way, they can participate fully and meaningfully. I think that what really irritates you is having to make tough choices, of prioritizing competing policy views. The result is likely to be an atomization of the political process that hurts everyone, individually and collectively.

    2. Simon Says:

      Independents want repeal! By 59% to 35% per Rasmussen. My tongue’s a little in my cheek here (Nancy’s frequent recitation of the self-contradictory mantra “independents want xyz” deserves some gentle mockery), and it’s only one poll so shouldn’t be taken at face value without corroboration, but it’s interesting nevertheless.

    3. kranky kritter Says:

      Simon, what irritates independents is being precluded from participation in choosing the final ballot candidates from the two parties that dominate most ballots.

      This IS like taxation without representation. I get it. Other independents get it.

      YOU don’t get it, because you are a loyalist of the two-party system, which means that you really can’t get it. You never really entertain the perceptions of independents on this matter as legitimate, because you always leap right to the best available defense of preserving two-party dominance.

    4. Simon Says:

      KK, it really isn’t like it at all. Independents are absolutely free to participate in elections; they can run in or vote in them as freely as anyone else can. Let us be done with this self-serving pretense that they are somehow “discriminated against.”

      What they are moaning about is, in fact, something quite distinct: that they cannot participate in the process of selecting the nominees of parties with which they refuse to associate. They have no right to do so, or to expect to do so; the primary is not the election. The fact that the parties select their nominees using the procedural device of a ballot, and the fact that most states recognize the public good of facilitating that ballot, do obscure this point to some extent, but in no way diminish its force.

      If an independent wishes to vote in the election, they are at liberty to do so. If they find themselves not liking their choices as the cycles go by, they can run themselves, or join up with the party that better matches their politics and participate in selecting its nominee. In no way is this comparable to being denied not only representation in the legislature, but opportunity to participate in the selection of those representatives, while still being asked to bear the decisions of that legislature. The comparison is historically illiterate.

    5. Simon Says:

      By the way, I rather resent the implication that because I reject a thought, I must therefore have been incapable of entertaining it. The irony is not lost on me, for example, that my concerns about preserving the Senate’s majority-constraining rules would best be served if the Senate contained three somewhat opposed parties that vied for control—say, Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians. This would give every member a constant and important stake in the powers of individual members. I just don’t think that we can get there from here without causing serious difficulties.

    6. kranky kritter Says:

      KK, it really isn’t like it at all. Independents are absolutely free to participate in elections; they can run in or vote in them as freely as anyone else can. Let us be done with this self-serving pretense that they are somehow “discriminated against.”

      Nah. Instead, let’s be done with the rank insult that this is a self-serving pretense. Your contention simply doesn’t speak at all to the overwhelming dominance of the two parties and how it leaves independents without any input in determining the viable candidates. You’d have us believe that our only fair recourse is to form some new effort outside of the domains of the existing parties, despite the entrenched dominance of these parties, or else to join. No thanks, independents are happy to take door #3. If it leaves the parties hopping mad, it must be a good idea.

      They have no right to do so, or to expect to do so; the primary is not the election… parties select their nominees using the procedural device of a ballot, and … most states recognize the public good of facilitating that ballot

      Rights are no more or less than what people can declare, establish, enforce, and defend. The rights in question here can be easily established by the sort of mechanisms Nancy regularly plumps. That’s well within the power of independents who feel excluded by 2-party dominance, and that’s the beauty of the democratic mechanisms American have at their disposal.

      If the parties want to exclude some folks, they can run their primaries on their own dime. That states currently recognize these primaries as a public good is in fact an evolving viewpoint subject to revision by popular democratic mechanisms. Independents are right now in the process of revising the details of this public good by doing things like opening up primaries.

      There’s really no conflict in the people telling the parties that they need to let independent be involved in the primaries if they wish to continue to have their primaries subsidized. A fat and growing third of Americans does not identify with either party, let the two parties continue to hold the vast majority of seats in congress. This dissatisfied and alienated third of Americans intends to fix this problem, and is well aware that the parties will hide behind whatever rules and mechanisms serves the preservation of 2-party dominance.

      By the way, I rather resent the implication that because I reject a thought, I must therefore have been incapable of entertaining it.

      Well, you try to entertain it, but you can’t get it because you haven’t really experienced it in election after election. You can’t know what’s it like to be disappointed by a relentless parade of partisan turds, because about half the time you’re pleased by the choices and the outcomes. I am happy to give you credit for making a good faith effort, just as I might make a good faith effort to understand what it’s like to be black. But in the end, as an independent, I can’t accept your testimony.

    7. Johnson Says:

      If anyone really wanted to reform our electoral
      system, the obvious choice would be instant
      runoff voting, favored by everyone with a clue:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting

      “Top two” is the worst of both worlds. Anyone
      with enough money could put 100 candidates on
      the primary ballot to draw away votes from
      opponents, then only the top two (who, combined,
      received a small minority of the votes in the
      primary) would be left in the final round. It’s NUTS.

      It’s clearly a power grab for those with tons
      of money, to wipe out all smaller contenders.

      See http://www.stoptoptwo.org/

    8. rudy Says:

      Election Year Medicaid Medicare Inducement issues left open for November not openly discussed.Politics have gone from heated to man on fire thoughts. Also the Judicial dilemmas, since all are offically allowed to bear arms again, the big city Mayors are concerned about how the poor will be able to rearm themselves, and are looking for some type of financial relief from Federal State Medicaid programs to maintain their status quo.The higher courts face tough issues this term since making honest fraud legal, there agenda now turns toward making honest kickbacks and honest bribes equally as legal. This topic remains high as a shared issue by the medicaid medicare enrollment providers since they are looking to expand inducements past the complicated pregnancy stage.

      The DOJ has serious concerns that if legalized marijuana in California for medical reasons could be used as a inducement or inticement to help secure new enrollments for the Federal State Medicare Medicaid programs.The State of California is concerned that if the Feds step up their effort in killing off the marijuana crops it could cause higher tax problems that effect Medicaid currently under consideration by the State ‘marijuana tax control board’. Limo drivers cancel their planned Medicaid Cuts DC rally and leave for California to protect this years crop. Wow, don’t think I would like to be in Politics for this years elections. Govenor Schwarzenegger indicated that if the Tea Partys membership keeps holding their rallies at our Marijuana burning fields they will have to be taxed for their free use of inhalants, prior to having them bused back to Arizona. Senator Mccain wants the deportation of illegal Mexicans to stop immediatley claims their State has gone to POT and insists Californis return his landscapers at once.

    9. genci Says:

      thanks for this great article i’ll be glad to see others to

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