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The nonpartisan primary: Is it a game changer?

Can the election system be reshaped to encourage greater moderation? There is no magic bullet but there is reason to believe that some progress could be made by replacing the current system with a nonpartisan blanket primary.

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Oct 11, 2011, 6:11 pm
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This is a very good article.  But, it would be even better if it mentioned the impact that top-two systems have on minor parties.  They are shut out of the general election campaign season.  We know this is true because that is what has happened in Louisiana and Washington.  No minor party member has ever placed first or second in a top-two primary in either state (if there were at least two major party members running).  That isn’t so bad in Louisiana, because in Congressional elections, the first round is in November anyway.  But the Washington state system, now being imitated in California and the Arizona initiative, has the first round in the summer, and that is the end of the campaign for minor party candidates.  In Washington, ever since top-two started in 2008, no minor party candidates have appeared on the ballot in November for any congressional race or any statewide state office.  Yet before top-two started, Washington state had had at least one minor party or independent candidate on the November ballot for either congress, or statewide state office, or both, in all elections before 2008, all the way back to statehood in 1890.

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