The California Legislature passed a Top Two Open Primary Consitutional Amendment this morning to be placed before the voters in 2010. This is a truly unexpected turn of events. Senator Abel Maldonado made the action a part of three reform demands before he would consider voting on California’s complex budget solution.
This development comes on the heels of CAIVP’s completion of its work on open primary. We are very pleased that the Legislature and the Governor have assurred that the public will have an opportunity to return to an Open Primary system. The Top Two Open primary proposal preserves all of the rights of political parties and will enhance the opportunities for independents and third party candidates to actually position themselves to win elections in California. Most importantly, it will assure that elections are decided in November General Elections were more people vote and that all Legislators are judged by the broadest possible electorate. While it will likely be heavily oppossed by political parties and special interest groups, if passed, it will represent a significant victory for voters and for common sense. Partisan gridlock has damaged both our State and our country.
CAIVP hopes that the passage of this measure will represent a first step toward reconcilliation and a more civil public dialogue. What’s next? Stay tuned.