The California nonpartisan, top-two open primary has been the subject of much review by journalists and political pundits for the last 8 years. Almost universally, they view the initiative from a partisan perspective (e.g. Does this help Democrats or Republicans?), or for its effect on the ideological composition of the individual legislators (e.g. Are they more moderate?).
For 8 years, the author of the top-two primary, the Independent Voter Project (a co-publisher of IVN), has said the pundits are missing the point. The NONPARTISAN primary is about making sure the first stage of the public election process serves every voter, regardless of party.
It’s not about party, it’s not about candidates, and it’s not about moderation. It’s about the right to vote.
This, in turn, would produce a legislature that is more representative of, and accountable to, the voters rather than political parties and their increasingly radical base of voters.
In other words, the top-two system — at its core — is about accountability, not which party wins.
The Sacramento Bee published an editorial Friday that took a very serious look at top-two that went beyond the simple red vs. blue of the world. Real journalism, some might call it.
“…[I]t’s too soon to indulge the top-two trash talkers. Party leaders and old power players may not like the current system, but rage won’t rule forever, and Californians need only look at the rest of the country to imagine this election without some counterbalance to the political extremes,” the Sac Bee Editorial Board writes.
Read The Full Editorial
So should we dump California’s top-two primary, or what?