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Comments on Guest opinion: Prop. 121

'Open Elections' initiative a Trojan Horse

While most voters are focused on the national election, Arizona voters need to pay careful attention to a ballot measure that could imperil freedom in our state. It’s Proposition 121, the so-called “Open Elections/Open Primary” initiative, and it’s the ultimate Trojan Horse.
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8 comments on this story

Sep 12, 2012, 9:39 am
-0 +2

Wow, the Sentinel publishes a rare piece from the other side of the aisle (sorry, but lately it’s true), and it’s from a whiny little crybaby who is just proving my point for me….this measure is a great idea.

I’m sure that both parties hate this measure. It’s a threat to their system that keeps government stagnated and them with seemingly life-long high-paying jobs.

I for one am hoping beyond hope this passes, and am looking very forward to seeing the end results of the initiative.

Sep 12, 2012, 10:05 am
-0 +1

@Bret Linden

The folks at the Goldwater Institute, in an echo of the traditions of European socialism, took a vacation during the month of August. ; )

Sep 12, 2012, 12:11 pm
-1 +1

Louisiana has had 37 years of experience with this system, and Washington state has had 4 years of experience.  We know what it does:  (1) it does not change who gets elected, or what kind of person who gets elected, at all.  All the political scientists who have actually studied this agree.  Google Seth Masket, Boris Shor, and Todd Donovan; (2) it makes it even easier for incumbents to get re-elected; (3) it wipes out minor party ballot access in November.  That is why the ACLU of both northern and southern California opposed it.

Sep 12, 2012, 2:47 pm
-0 +0

In 2010, the Libertarian and Green Party nominees for both Governor and US Senator were included in the debates with their major party opponents.  The gubernatorial debate was on September 1 and the US Senate debate was on September 26.  Many observers felt that David Nolan, the Libertarian nominee for US Senate, won that debate with Senator McCain and the other two candidates.  Tragically, Nolan was killed shortly afterwards.

Sep 12, 2012, 3:28 pm
-0 +0

I hate the two-party system, but that said I’m not sure I see a point in guaranteeing other parties a line on the ballot for the general election. An independent has an outside shot. A Libertarian or especially a Green party candidate…I can’t recall any election for any office where one of their candidates beat someone for an office.

The masses in this country think they’re at the track rather than a voting booth. They think “well, he doesn’t have a chance so I won’t vote for him”. Duh…maybe if everyone who thought like you did vote for the guy he would have a chance, perhaps?

Perhaps this top-two system can serve as the first of many steps to deprogram the masses out of this destructive thinking.

Sep 12, 2012, 6:56 pm
-0 +0

The top-two system hurts independent candidates also.  There is no instance of a congressional election in a top-two state in which an independent placed first or second in the primary, if there was both a Democrat and a Republican also running.  The only exception is the California district this year now represented by Congressman Henry Waxman.  An independent did place second, but he was a registered Republican until late in 2011, and he has been endorsed by many prominent Republicans, and he has more campaign contributions than Waxman has.

Libertarians have elected state legislators in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Alaska.  Greens have elected state legislators in California, Arkansas, and Maine.

Jesse Ventura, Reform Party nominee for Minnesota Governor in 1998, only got 3% in Minnesota’s classic open primary in September.  But he was elected.  Under a top-two system he almost surely would have been kept off the November ballot.  That is why Ventura is against the top-two system.

Sep 12, 2012, 7:16 pm
-0 +0

The Ventura example is one near and dear to my heart. My home state, and the politician who has made the most sense to me.

Part of Ventura’s victory can be credited to Minnesota’s same-day voter registration law. Had the top-two system existed in ‘98 in Minnesota, his campaign would have just had to move the timetable up to the primary rather than the general. The result would have been the same.

Sep 13, 2012, 7:56 am
-0 +0

No, it wouldn’t have.  Ventura was only at 15% in the polls at the time of the primary.  Most voters just won’t really pay attention to minor party or independent candidates until after they know who the major party candidates will be.  The Democratic primary was holding most people’s attention during the first half of September in Minnesota.  It was called “The Three Sons” primary (Humphrey-Mondale-Freeman) and was very dramatic all by itself.  Jesse Ventura campaigned against top-two when it was on the California ballot.

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