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California Open Primary: The Revolution Starts Here

by Steve Peace, published

For those of us who supported the new Open Primary, the preliminary results are in far sooner than any of us could have expected.

In particular, the unexpected emergence of independent candidates so soon has already advanced the cause of introducing some much-needed intellectual competition into the process.

In addition, it is already clear that a number of races to be decided in November are producing unprecedented attention to previously ignored independent voters.

Admittedly, much of this attention is somewhat ham-handed. Both Republican and Democratic consultants struggle with how to communicate with independent voters. And, the misconception that independents are about “the middle” has led to more miss-steps than a Meg Whitman for Governor operation.

In the end though, it’s all good. The political party operatives are cranky and there is far more uncertainty in the final hours of the primary season than any of us could have imagined.

It will take many years and at least two or more election cycles before we can judge the result of Open Primary. The important measure will be in the quality of work done by those elected.

Over time, how the parties adapt to the Open Primary will determine both their fate and the value of the change. But, what is difficult to argue against is the fact that both parties needed a slap in the face.

Real revolutions take time. Success is seldom gathered in a straight line. Before us are many roadblocks. Change always breeds fear. Fear increases the instinct to hold on to what we know.

Revolutions ultimately succeed only when elements of the status quo begin to defect. Sometimes those defections come from unexpected sources and for unexpected reasons. It will take some time to sort out the pretenders from the contenders. But, time will tell. The revolution starts here.

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