Monday, September 04, 2006

The best argument against a closed primary

From a comment at the Replace the Pick A Party Primary blog:
I don't want the parties to get my address and start sending me mail.
From the Cluetrain Manifesto:
The Axe in Our Heads

Every one of us knows that marketers are out to get us, and we all struggle to escape their snares. We channel-surf through commercials; we open our mail over the recycling bin, struggling to discern the junk mail without having to open the envelope; we resent the adhesion of commercial messages to everything from sports uniforms to escalator risers.

We know that the real purpose of marketing is to insinuate the message into our consciousness, to put an axe in our heads without our noticing. Like it or not, they will teach us to sing the jingle and recite the slogan. If the axe finds its mark we toe the line, buy the message, buy the product, and don’t talk back. For the axe of marketing is also meant to silence us, to make conversation in the market as unnecessary as the ox cart.

The overwhelmingly popular vote in favor of I-872 two years ago and the continued support for something other than the closed primary has as much to do with buying a car as democracy. Buying a car and democracy are both necessary (well, not really the car, but you get my point) and during the process of both, you feel like you're being sold on something that you dont' really want.

One of the fears of closing up the primary system is that if you vote for a candidate, then whatever party that person belongs to will suddenly consider you a member. That is the downfall of many closed primary systems back east. Great for the parties, but sucko for the voters.

Actually, not so great for the parties, because their mail will soon be part of that junk mail we open over the recycle bin. It would be better to need accurate (junk mail) lists less and find other ways to engage voters.


Anonymous said...

OK so you're saying that if I were to vote for Cantwell, the Demacratic Party will start sending me junk mail? So how did the Democratic party figure out that I voted for Cantwell. You seem to have forgotten that we have the secret ballot. Or are you saying that our election workers turn over our names and addresses to the political parties? Sorry, but your argument just doesn't hold up.

Emmett said...

You're right, I deleted my middle section of this post and intended to rewrite it, but never got around to it. What it seems the parties would like to see in Washington is somehow mine the information from the primary to find out who is voting how. This is the practice in many states where close primaries and party registration is the norm.

Though, thanks for pointing that out.

Anonymous said...

Although I'm not a fan of either of the "big parties" - I stand by the decision for closed primaries.

That said, I don't think the state should be administering and paying for these popularity contests. If the parties only want their members to to choose a candidate, then they should use caucuses.