Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The U.S. of A.: almost a democracy

Beginning today in Michigan, through February 5, there will be 29 state primaries and caucuses. However, in 17 of them, in order to vote for one of the national candidates, one must be a registered member of either the Republican or Democratic parties; these are the so-called "closed primaries."

This is one of the more effective tools our established political parties have employed to entrench themselves at the controls of our government. It's undemocratic and a major obstacle to any progressive candidate, from either party, who wishes to appeal to independents and moderate members of the opposition party.

Closed contests are held in some of our biggest states including California, New York, Massachusetts, Florida and New Jersey.


hankster said...

On the other hand, closed primaries prevent the tactic of voting for a candidate of another party who is less electable against a specific candidate of one's own party.

d'blank said...

True, but I think an individual's right to vote for whomever he pleases trumps all other arguments. If the purpose of an election is to achieve a political goal, then voting to stop another candidate seems legitimate to me. And even if it is not, government can't read minds, so who is to say what motivated another person?