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Author: Subject: Should primary elections be open or closed?
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[*] Post 316322 posted on 14-1-2008 at 20:59 Reply With Quote
Should primary elections be open or closed?



The US is having the most interesting primary elections in many years, because (in the absence of an incumbant) the outcome is in doubt for the nominee of either party, and there have been surprises. A month earlier, hardly anyone thought Huckabee had a chance in Iowa (actually a caucus, not a primary), and McCain's candidacy was considered almost dead a few months ago. Both winners had very little money. Obama and Hillary seem evenly matched, with different strengths.

Several states have open primaries or caucuses, meaning the voter gets to vote for either party. Independents can choose iether party. A Republican could ask for a Democrat ballot, to try to influence toward a weak choice, or toward a choice more in line with Republican thinking; a Democrat could do the same.

Some states have closed primaries. A person declares their party preference, is listed as such, and gets that ballot. Listed Republicans choose Republican candidates, and listed Democrats choose Democrat candidates. Of course, you can move from one list to the other if you wish, but you can't stay listed as one and vote as if you were the other.

Which do you think is better? Should the states become more nearly uniform?

Significantly, Iowa and New Hampshire--open states--picked as winners the two candidates who are most in line with Democrat practice (Huckabee in taxes, spending, and immigration; McCain in taxes, immigration, and environmental policies). In a field of candidates where the conservative vote is divided up among several people, a small number of people who are not even Republicans might decide who is nominated by tipping the balance. And, if they really prefer Democrat positions, they may vote for the Democrat nominee instead in the general election!:o
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[*] Post 316432 posted on 15-1-2008 at 17:23 Reply With Quote


A political expert is talking about how the open primary in Michigan might turn out. Michigan moved the date of its primary to an earlier date, without permission from the Democrat party. The Democrat party ruling was that their delegates would not be allowed to vote, because they were elected at a time not allowed by the rules. Obama and Edwards therefor took their names off the ballot, leaving only Hillary Clinton or "uncommitted." With only one named choice on the Democratic ballot, and no voting delegates at stake, there is little reason for anyone to show up at the polls and ask for a Democrat ballot. Those who do show up at the polls may well decide to ask for a Republican ballot, either desiring that the Republicans nominate the candidate they like best (just in case he wins), or desiring that the Republicans nominate a weak candidate whom the Democrats can defeat. The former would be McCain (who holds Democrat positions on several issures); the latter would either be McCain or Huckabee.

If a lot of Democrats or Independents vote for McCain, he is likely to win. Among the Republicans, Romney and McCain are polled to be nearly tied (Romney with a slight lead, but within the margin of error).

It will be an exciting night for those who are interested in Republican politics. Today is the vote!:D
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[*] Post 316434 posted on 15-1-2008 at 17:54 Reply With Quote


We practically need a new forum for the American Elections. This is more "popular" than the Arts forum was.
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