Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Those pesky primaries

I'm well aware that the major-parties' faithful pretty much resent independents. We're necessary evils in that we're necessary to get their candidates elected and evil because we're just as likely to get the other party's candidates elected. Why they don't make it easier for us to vote in their primaries is truly bewildering. You'd think they'd pay a little more attention to the "necessary" part.

Some states have open primaries, which means you don't have to declare yourself to be a Republican to vote in the GOP primary, for instance. Others allow you to be, say, a Democrat for a day, or a month, or a quarter in order to vote in the Democratic primary. Others shut you out of the process entirely if you're an independent.

I'm an advocate of open primaries, but not because I want to vote in the major-parties' primaries. Neither is it because some states force us to be dishonest by declaring ourselves to be something we're not just to vote in the primary. Nor is it because I think it's unfair that we're shut out.

No. My reasons are none of the above. I have one, and only one, reason: We all help pay for the primaries. For that reason alone, every registered voter should be allowed unrestricted access to the primary process. As Michael Bloomberg recently pointed out, not only are we excluded, but also we're forced to pay for primaries while the parties do all they can to keep independent and third-party candidates out of both the primaries and the general election.

The Colorado primaries were held yesterday, and my interest level in the results is directly in proportion to my participation level. Which was zilch, because I'm an independent.

Oh, there was one point of interest: Doug Bruce lost. He got promoted to the state legislature last year when the El Paso county commission could no longer abide his antics. And his antics have been legion. He often disrupted the proceedings and was called everything from a slumlord (property he owns really was disgusting) to a sociopath. He raised a stink even before he was sworn in to the legislature because he didn't like the way he was to be sworn in, and later that day he kicked, or in some way assaulted, a news photographer. He was once ordered to leave the state house podium for calling Colorado's Mexican labor force "illiterate peasants" and was booted off the military affairs committee for refusing to vote in favor of a resolution veterans.

I guess it was a good day after all. Even if I did have to stay home.


Independent Arkansans said...

I have enjoyed reading some of your past blog entries, as I have just stumbled upon it today. I am also looking forward to reading "We the Purple". It's nice to "meet you".

Just FYI: I was going through some of your links (to the right side), and when I clicked on "The Purple State", a page that has NOTHING to do with states, or politics, or purple anything popped up. You might want to delete the link, if you know what I mean.

Marcia Ford said...

Duly noted and deleted. Thanks for letting me know! That domain name used to belong to a group of college-age independent voters. Maybe they found a new pastime...

Anonymous said...

Over the past 8 months, I've watched the primary process play out and had to reckon with something that was nagging at me. I am a registered Democrat, and have been for almost 20 years. My first impulse after turning 18 was to register "independent," but was horrified to see that meant I received things in the mail for the American Independent Party. So I changed my affiliation to Democrat and that's where it has been since.

The truth is that I hate talking points and often vote for whichever candidate that speaks to issues that are important to me regardless of Party Affiliation. I think that makes me Independent.

Anyways - i searched the web and happened upon your blog and wanted to say thanks for this. It's a great read and I enjoyed it.



Debbie said...

I am interested in your take on the new VP nomination for the conservatives. I had almost made a decision to go independent when they up and pulled this surprise out. As an independent do you have an objective view on this?

Marcia Ford said...

Dave, are you in California? I know there was some confusion on their voter registration form, and lots of people registered with the AIP in error. Otherwise, I can't imagine why you were getting those mailings. I've never gotten mail from any independent or third party in all my decades as a registered independent.

Debbie, I'm not so sure I can be objective on this. Sarah Palin is certainly an attractive candidate for conservatives, and I particularly applaud her anti-corruption efforts. But I cannot ignore the big picture --- what a Republican administration has done to this country in the past 8 years. I'd rather vote for a third-party candidate who has no chance of winning than validate the GOP with my vote. I'm not objective when it comes to the Republicans in this election.

Friar Tuck said...

Yeah for Bruce being gone.

Marcia Ford said...

Ah, yes. Bruce is gone, and all is right with the world. He did make for some amusing moments though, didn't he?