Friday, September 15, 2006

Voters Shouldn't have to subsidize the process

Letter to the editor of Seattle Post-Intelligencer on September 15, 2006

With the blanket pulled from our primary, why should taxpayers (and non-partisan voters) continue to subsidize the nominating processes of the two largest political parties with this new pick-a-party process?

Given the understandable and legal need for parties to have control over candidates using their name and running on their label, why not just toss the partisan aspect of the primary altogether and force true-believing party members to hold meaningful open-membership nominating conventions on their own dime and time?

Independent voters shouldn't have to pay for that. Primary ballots would be the same for all voters as only non-partisan candidates and issues need appear. Party conventions would take care of party candidates. No more silly, faux declarations of party membership in order to cast a ballot for a candidate of choice.

Unlike parliamentarians, Washingtonians have never been keen on declaring party membership. We tend to vote for the individual. It's party officials who like (and sued for) the current structure in our primaries, not the average voter. No more partisan bullet voting in Washington primaries. Primary elections should be kept independent of party demands and focused on the needs of the voter.

Laurence Ballard, Seattle


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