Tag Archives: open primaries

Do elections reflect the will of ‘the people’?

Going back in our young country’s history we all know only wealthy landowners who happened to be male were allowed to vote.  We recognize and have often discussed the pros and cons of the Electoral College.  Voter apathy has a tremendous impact on whether or not elections actually reflect the will of the majority.  Some voters cast their votes based only on social issues like abortion or gun control.  Money, or lack of, all too often dominates who runs and who is elected.  The candidate who may be nominated for POTUS doesn’t appeal widely enough to win at the national level, while the candidate who is moderate enough to be elected doesn’t ‘pass muster’ in the nomination process.

Earlier this month, California voters approved an open primary for statewide and congressional races starting in 2011. In the current system, each party has a closed primary, with only Democrats deciding who should be the Democratic nominee and only Republicans choosing their nominee. In the new system, all candidates for each office will be listed on a single ballot regardless of party (although candidates can list their party affiliation after their names, if they want to). The top two vote getters will advance to the general election, even if both are Democrats or both are Republicans.

Kansas Republicans hold a closed primary and we know this year the results could be skewed by disgruntled Democrats who desire a voice (even tho limited) in who will be the next Senator from Kansas.

What are the pros and cons you see in today’s elections?  What changes do you think might have a positive impact?  Will elections ever reflect the will of the majority of the people?


Filed under Elections