Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Forward Party: Why "Nonpartisan Primaries?"

In my Garrison Center column today, I write that the Forward Party's specific policy proposals (so far) -- Ranked-Choice Voting, Nonpartisan Primaries, and Independent Redistricting Commissions -- are at, not beyond, the edge of the ... Overton Window: Good ideas that most people like but that the 'major' parties refuse to touch."

Here, I'm going to walk that back just a little bit on the subject of "Nonpartisan Primaries."

Forward's proposal amounts to "jungle primaries," using Ranked-Choice Voting, with the "top 5" proceeding to  the general election.

One minor problem I have with that is that parties shouldn't be able to choose their own nominees. But IMO that is a minor problem, because there's no reason that parties couldn't endorse/promote/fund their chosen (by whatever process they like) candidates ... and if it's a nonpartisan primary, there's no reason why party labels should appear on the ballots, right? It's just a matter of Party X endorsing/promoting/funding only one candidate and doing so without the government assistance of a proprietary ballot line.

My more major problem is this:

If it's going to be Ranked-Choice voting, why is a "primary" necessary at all? Just proceed directly to the general election, with all constitutionally/legally qualified candidates on the ballot, and have done with it.

One of the selling points of Ranked-Choice voting is that it's an "instant runoff" system with no second election necessary if nobody gets a majority. Why nullify that selling point by having two elections when one would be enough?

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