Wednesday, August 03, 2005

One Ballot in Oregon

Its kind of strange sometimes how these ideas bounce around, but some folks in Oregon are trying to adopt our old Top Two primary:
Imagine choosing candidates that best represent you and the issues and values that you hold closest, regardless of political party affiliation.

Imagine receiving your ballot and having real choices among candidates that actually represent your values and beliefs.

Imagine, if every time Oregon held a primary election, every voter – regardless of political party registration, or lack thereof – receives an identical ballot, one ballot.

Change the face of Oregon politics for the better and shift the balance of power back to voters. Choose a primary election system that gives candidates access to all voters and gives voters the choice of all candidates.
On face, calling it "One Ballot" instead of Top Two is a good idea, but this also reminds me of California stealing our original open primary, which of course blew the entire party.

In Washington we argued for the Top Two and the original open primary because it had always been that way, at least since the 1930s, that we could vote for whoever we wanted to. Tradition, though, isn't always the best argument, so I'm eager to see how the debate in Oregon goes.

While I'm at it, Oregon was also discussing whether to simply make some statewide elected positions non-partisan, something we might be coming into in Washington because the parties pushed to hard on rolling the Top Two primary:
...Grange officials have said they might file yet a new initiative, one that could pass constitutional muster by having candidates file for all elective offices on a non-partisan basis.

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