A way of breaking the control of government by the two-party system.
What is it?
Arguments for Open Primaries
- "...the present system isn’t working very well. Young people are disaffected and cynical about electoral politics and only getting more so." (source)
- "The goal is to increase voter participation – only about 20 percent of
eligible voters cast ballots in [recent primaries] – and to attract
young voters who increasingly don’t want to affiliate with either party." (source)
Those who support it:
- As a general rule, anything that the far right and the far left both
decry is a decent idea. And so it is with open primaries. While they can
be the subject of dirty tricks, they are more likely to produce
candidates who are moderate enough to win in general elections and be
more effective in office.
- The biggest winners in open primaries are the voters. The electorate is
growing more and more polarized, as evidenced by a recent study by the Pew Research Center. Even so, more people still describe their political views as mixed (39%) than as liberal (34%) or conservative (27%).
- Thanks in part to gerrymandering in House districts, Congress is a good
bit more polarized than the electorate. That is a major problem, as the
polarization is making routine governance difficult and impedes
solutions to long festering problems such as climate change, immigration
and benefit programs.
- Opponents of open primaries assert that open primaries violate parties'
rights of association. The only problem with this argument is that the
Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of open primaries.
Even millionaires support it:
- "A Houston billionaire who has given $1.5
million in support of a ballot measure to change Oregon's primary
election system said the proposed format is one of the few solutions to
lessening dysfunction in Washington, D.C.
John Arnold, 40,
said he'd like the proposed "top-two" system to spread nationally as a
way to reduce the influence of political insiders and highly partisan
voters. His contributions to the group Open Primaries make him the
largest donor of the campaign. Former New York City Mayor Michael
Bloomberg has given $1.25 million directly to the "Yes on 90" campaign." (source)