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Comments on: California legislature rewrittes election law, adopts two-round system
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http://campaigndiaries.com/2009/02/19/california-open-primaries/ Obsessive political analysis Tue, 21 Aug 2018 01:00:45 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.7 hourly 1 By: Michael Northrop
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http://campaigndiaries.com/2009/02/19/california-open-primaries/comment-page-1/#comment-18286 Michael Northrop
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Mon, 04 May 2009 16:17:24 +0000
http://campaigndiaries.com/?p=6280#comment-18286 I'm surprised no one has mentioned Instant Runoff Voting. There is no need for a 2-round runoff when IRV (or ranked choice voting) guarantees a majority winner in one election and eliminates the wasted-vote/spoiler effect. No 3rd party would ever support or benefit from Open Primaries for the reasons that Passionatejus gave. IRV is already used successfully in San Francisco, Australia, Ireland, and adopted in Minneapolis, Oakland, Burlington, VT, among others. It also increases voter turnout since primary elections are notoriously ignored (except by the ideological extremes), as are runoff elections held after the general election. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Maefwl20Uh0 Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

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I’m surprised no one has mentioned Instant Runoff Voting. There is no need for a 2-round runoff when IRV (or ranked choice voting) guarantees a majority winner in one election and eliminates the wasted-vote/spoiler effect. No 3rd party would ever support or benefit from Open Primaries for the reasons that Passionatejus gave. IRV is already used successfully in San Francisco, Australia, Ireland, and adopted in Minneapolis, Oakland, Burlington, VT, among others. It also increases voter turnout since primary elections are notoriously ignored (except by the ideological extremes), as are runoff elections held after the general election.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Maefwl20Uh0

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By: Taniel
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http://campaigndiaries.com/2009/02/19/california-open-primaries/comment-page-1/#comment-9543 Taniel
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Fri, 20 Feb 2009 15:23:03 +0000
http://campaigndiaries.com/?p=6280#comment-9543 passionatejus, I agree that the system's humongous flaw is that turnout in the first round is likely to be very low, and that is what differentiates the American "open primary" from the European style-"two round system" (in French elections, for instance, turnout doesn't tend to be that different in the two rounds). And I more than acknowledge the system's problems when implemented in the American context (boosting moderates even in districts that are very liberal or very conservative, low turnout). In other words, I am not praising the reform, but I do think that it could bring some improvements for third parties <i>in the long-run</i> by changing the political culture that dictates that a vote for a third party is a wasted vote; that will take more than a few years, but building third parties is obviously a long-term goal. As for the turnout issue, my hope would be that, as people get used to the system, they understand that the first round is as important as the runoff. For that to happen, there shouldn't be a long period between the two rounds: that makes them seem far more linked than the primary and general election do in America. passionatejus,

I agree that the system’s humongous flaw is that turnout in the first round is likely to be very low, and that is what differentiates the American “open primary” from the European style-”two round system” (in French elections, for instance, turnout doesn’t tend to be that different in the two rounds). And I more than acknowledge the system’s problems when implemented in the American context (boosting moderates even in districts that are very liberal or very conservative, low turnout).

In other words, I am not praising the reform, but I do think that it could bring some improvements for third parties in the long-run by changing the political culture that dictates that a vote for a third party is a wasted vote; that will take more than a few years, but building third parties is obviously a long-term goal. As for the turnout issue, my hope would be that, as people get used to the system, they understand that the first round is as important as the runoff. For that to happen, there shouldn’t be a long period between the two rounds: that makes them seem far more linked than the primary and general election do in America.

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By: passionatejus
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http://campaigndiaries.com/2009/02/19/california-open-primaries/comment-page-1/#comment-9475 passionatejus
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Fri, 20 Feb 2009 02:56:37 +0000
http://campaigndiaries.com/?p=6280#comment-9475 Tom, I believe in last year's top-two primary, turnout was lower than usual. Mostly due to the confusion of it being the first one of it's kind. And because there was less drama. Everybody knew that in most districts that both the Democratic and the Republican candidate would win and then go on to the final round (aka general election). http://horsesass.org/?p=5888 Third Parties themselves said that the top-two primary hurt them: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008090015_thirdparty04m.html I cannot say it better than this: http://www.mydd.com/story/2009/2/19/172417/292 Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

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Tom, I believe in last year’s top-two primary, turnout was lower than usual. Mostly due to the confusion of it being the first one of it’s kind. And because there was less drama. Everybody knew that in most districts that both the Democratic and the Republican candidate would win and then go on to the final round (aka general election).

http://horsesass.org/?p=5888

Third Parties themselves said that the top-two primary hurt them:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008090015_thirdparty04m.html

I cannot say it better than this:

http://www.mydd.com/story/2009/2/19/172417/292

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By: mikeel
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http://campaigndiaries.com/2009/02/19/california-open-primaries/comment-page-1/#comment-9474 mikeel
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Fri, 20 Feb 2009 02:41:16 +0000
http://campaigndiaries.com/?p=6280#comment-9474 California has the biggest legislative districts by a wide margin. We habe 40 Senate seats (average population just under 1 million) and 80 Assembly seats. You'd think the size of the State Senate disticts would guarantee more competitive elections, but only one race was competitive in 2008 (SD 19). In the Assembly, there are actually several competitive races as term limits create a lot of open seats every two years. I really don't think the open primary will change much, except that the primary becomes a "beauty contest," or really a large poll. There will be independent redidtricing, but I don't think that's going to change things a lot. The problem is that the California politics has become extremely polarized, and that will take a lot more than political reforms to change. California has the biggest legislative districts by a wide margin. We habe 40 Senate seats (average population just under 1 million) and 80 Assembly seats. You’d think the size of the State Senate disticts would guarantee more competitive elections, but only one race was competitive in 2008 (SD 19). In the Assembly, there are actually several competitive races as term limits create a lot of open seats every two years.

I really don’t think the open primary will change much, except that the primary becomes a “beauty contest,” or really a large poll. There will be independent redidtricing, but I don’t think that’s going to change things a lot. The problem is that the California politics has become extremely polarized, and that will take a lot more than political reforms to change.

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By: Taniel
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http://campaigndiaries.com/2009/02/19/california-open-primaries/comment-page-1/#comment-9473 Taniel
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Fri, 20 Feb 2009 02:37:32 +0000
http://campaigndiaries.com/?p=6280#comment-9473 passionatejus, I agree with you that Congress is dominated by a centrist (bipartisan) caucus, and I am worried about the possibility that even liberal and conservative districts like California's start sending moderates. But I also think that the path towards healthy democratic debates goes through election reform and building up third parties, something that the one-round election system makes structurally impossible since third parties will always be accused of playing spoiler. passionatejus,
I agree with you that Congress is dominated by a centrist (bipartisan) caucus, and I am worried about the possibility that even liberal and conservative districts like California’s start sending moderates. But I also think that the path towards healthy democratic debates goes through election reform and building up third parties, something that the one-round election system makes structurally impossible since third parties will always be accused of playing spoiler.

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By: passionatejus
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http://campaigndiaries.com/2009/02/19/california-open-primaries/comment-page-1/#comment-9472 passionatejus
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Fri, 20 Feb 2009 02:34:36 +0000
http://campaigndiaries.com/?p=6280#comment-9472 Well I must respectively disagree with you all. We already are a nation of moderation. I would hate for both parties to become even more moderate. I like my politics with a little bit of both wacky leftists and right wingers. I also don't like most "reforms" -- they typically only make things worse. Propositions and referendums for example (see: Tim Eyman, Bill Sizemore, Prop 187). I use to work for Governor Davis. In my opinion, Californians got what they deserved, in electing a sexual harasser with no previous governmental experience. Well I must respectively disagree with you all. We already are a nation of moderation. I would hate for both parties to become even more moderate. I like my politics with a little bit of both wacky leftists and right wingers.

I also don’t like most “reforms” — they typically only make things worse. Propositions and referendums for example (see: Tim Eyman, Bill Sizemore, Prop 187). I use to work for Governor Davis. In my opinion, Californians got what they deserved, in electing a sexual harasser with no previous governmental experience.

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By: Tom
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http://campaigndiaries.com/2009/02/19/california-open-primaries/comment-page-1/#comment-9446 Tom
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Thu, 19 Feb 2009 21:01:24 +0000
http://campaigndiaries.com/?p=6280#comment-9446 I completely agree with Fritz - independant redistricting would be real reform. But I agree that anything that allows more moderates (especially GOP members in the State hous enad Senate!) is to be welcome. The GOP look very bad in this fight because they held California ransom. I completely agree with Fritz - independant redistricting would be real reform. But I agree that anything that allows more moderates (especially GOP members in the State hous enad Senate!) is to be welcome. The GOP look very bad in this fight because they held California ransom.

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By: fritz
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http://campaigndiaries.com/2009/02/19/california-open-primaries/comment-page-1/#comment-9443 fritz
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Thu, 19 Feb 2009 20:48:46 +0000
http://campaigndiaries.com/?p=6280#comment-9443 Taniel: Thanks for the excellent overview of open primaries but I'm not sure it will lead to the rise of third parties in the US. The system as it stands today doesn't elect any third party members to Congress but anything that helps put more moderates in Congress can't be bad.It's too bad the Senator didn't hold out for ending gerrymandering and redistricting by an independent panel. Now that would be real electoral reform. Taniel: Thanks for the excellent overview of open primaries but I’m not sure it will lead to the rise of third parties in the US.
The system as it stands today doesn’t elect any third party members to Congress but anything that helps put more moderates in Congress can’t be bad.It’s too bad the Senator didn’t hold out for ending gerrymandering and redistricting by an independent panel. Now that would be real electoral reform.

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By: Jaxx Raxor
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http://campaigndiaries.com/2009/02/19/california-open-primaries/comment-page-1/#comment-9442 Jaxx Raxor
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Thu, 19 Feb 2009 20:46:41 +0000
http://campaigndiaries.com/?p=6280#comment-9442 In terms of strengthening third party candidates, the Green party would probably benefit the most in Calfifornia if it passes by referendum because while it is true that most districts at both the state and federal level are gerrymandered to favor either the Democratic or Republican party, Democratic districts tend to be much more democratic leaning than the Republican districts. Obama did very well in Calfornia, winning some Republican districts and coming close in others, while he dominated the traditional Democratic gerrymanded districts. In addition conservative oriented parties seem to be fairly week in California (the Liebertarians and the Constituional Party come to mind) while the leftist Green party has some strengh in the liberal parts of California, especially in San Franciso, in which a Green candidate is regularly a major candidate in the Mayoral election. It's possible that if the two round system passes, then in very liberal districts you could start seeing Greens replacing Democrats, althrough this will probably almost certainly be at the state level, because the Democrats are much more powerful at the federal level in these districts. In terms of strengthening third party candidates, the Green party would probably benefit the most in Calfifornia if it passes by referendum because while it is true that most districts at both the state and federal level are gerrymandered to favor either the Democratic or Republican party, Democratic districts tend to be much more democratic leaning than the Republican districts. Obama did very well in Calfornia, winning some Republican districts and coming close in others, while he dominated the traditional Democratic gerrymanded districts. In addition conservative oriented parties seem to be fairly week in California (the Liebertarians and the Constituional Party come to mind) while the leftist Green party has some strengh in the liberal parts of California, especially in San Franciso, in which a Green candidate is regularly a major candidate in the Mayoral election. It’s possible that if the two round system passes, then in very liberal districts you could start seeing Greens replacing Democrats, althrough this will probably almost certainly be at the state level, because the Democrats are much more powerful at the federal level in these districts.

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By: Tom
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http://campaigndiaries.com/2009/02/19/california-open-primaries/comment-page-1/#comment-9437 Tom
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Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

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Thu, 19 Feb 2009 19:57:30 +0000
http://campaigndiaries.com/?p=6280#comment-9437 passionatejus - I understand your comments but is turnout lower in the first round comapred to a "normal" primary? I would expect turnout to be the same or higher because primaries are usually low turnout affairs. You cannot just measure the effectiveness of open primaries by the absence or presence of a third party in the second round. Third parties in the US have typically got less than 5%, they would need a quantum leap in support to get to a second round (probably 30-40%). passionatejus - I understand your comments but is turnout lower in the first round comapred to a “normal” primary? I would expect turnout to be the same or higher because primaries are usually low turnout affairs.

You cannot just measure the effectiveness of open primaries by the absence or presence of a third party in the second round. Third parties in the US have typically got less than 5%, they would need a quantum leap in support to get to a second round (probably 30-40%).

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