I haven’t made many posts relating to the 2014 midterm elections. It’s not that I haven’t been following the various campaigns. Basically, it’s just that I find the choices too depressing, and after all, this is supposed to be a “humorous” site.
Most of my frustration stems from California’s “top two” election law. As regular readers of my screeds know, I’m not a fan of either Democrats or Republicans. Both have a few admirable traits and positions I can agree with, but both are responsible for the decline in our standard of living, be it flawed trade agreements that have sent so many jobs overseas or weak regulation of Wall Street and the banking industry.
So California voters (majority Democrats) voted for this new system, which weeds out minor parties and leaves us with only a Republican and a Democrat in the general election, or in some cases two candidates from the same party. There is no write-in provision.
This works very well for the ruling hegemony, but it sucks for the rest of us. It’s not that I have any illusions of electing an independent, libertarian or greenie in the current climate, but it bars me from making any kind of protest statement other than leaving the box blank. That option makes me want to vomit. (If I did that on the ballot, would it count as a vote of no confidence?)
At least I still have choices at the local level, although the recent “October surprise” concerning Terry Lamphier (candidate for city council) and kiddie porn has thrown that race into chaos. Whoever the anonymous letter-writer is that brought this to light is obviously not a fan of Terry’s. There is no way to resolve these accusations before Tuesday.
And that pisses me off. I hadn’t made up my mind to vote for Terry, but I am strongly tempted to do so now. If the charges prove to be true, he won’t ever be seated anyway, and if he’s innocent he deserves to be elected just because of the injustice of these slimy tactics. Consider it my protest vote.
I am right there with you on Prop 14 top two primaries. Now I either have the choice to vote for somebody I don’t support or not vote at all. Those who typically vote for either major party don’t understand that there are huge numbers of people are disenfranchised by all the money obstacles, ballot qualifications, and now top two of having a legitimate choice other than a Democrat or Republican. I jumped into partisan office politics in California about a decade to late because 2010 was the last time a independent will have a chance at reaching the general election unless one of the two major parties doesn’t even field a candidate and the incumbent is going unchallenged within their own party. I have some numbers of the Greens decline in candidates running for public office at all levels from dog catcher to Governor in California since prop 14 passed without any support of any legal political party. That is the only time in my life I have ever seen every political party agree on any issue and it lost by 7% points, go figure.
We have Prop 90 on the ballot this Tues. up here in Oregon which, in viewing your comments, will be the same as your Prop 14. The messaging is very confusing, (go figure that), and many are thinking that it will open up the field for independents when, to my understanding, it has the opposite effect. And, for the first time in a while, I’ve got to admit that I’m one of the confused. It says it would allow only the top two primary vote receivers to be on the general election ballot. Sounds specious to me.
Am I wrong in opposing this measure?
If you want to eliminate all those confusing choices, by all means, vote for top two.
Washington State has the same set up and in a very gerrymandered district it actually does what it claims but it shuts out minority political parties big time. The McClintock- Moore race is a perfect example. Moore just needs to get the Democratic voter and a small percentage of Republicans to make this a very close election. McClintock’s money and name recognition gives him a huge advantage in any close race though.
Minority party’s get the two months of a primary election to campaign against an incumbent along with Democratic and Republican infrastructure that is 150 years old. There is little to no chance for a minority party to compete in such a hostile climate with such a short time to campaign. In California we pull papers in February to run for office and the primary is in June. Other than Democratic/ Republican dinners or Central Committees does anyone remember any real campaigning in the primary season? During the summer months is when parades, fairs, festivals, bbq’s, horseshoe and golf tournaments happen.
Ben. I am in complete agreement about Prop 14. I think that it was a horrible idea that shuts out the competition of other parties. Look at the McClintock race. Tom will win because he is very popluar with his constituents (well over 50% in the primary) and will win by over 15 points, partly because a lot of Democrats will not vote at all.
You think McClintock win by that margin? Everything I hear is it is a close race but that is generally by people who don’t particularly support him from the district. My circles are Merced River advocates, Save the Sequoias, advocates of Yosemite, Pro Labor, ect…