My intention is to vote against the so called “Open Elections/Open Government “(OEOG) initiative if it reaches the ballot, but I was relieved to see that supporters have probably failed to gather enough legitimate signatures.
Contrary to what its supporters say, the initiative doesn’t insure a change in the status quo. In fact the “top 2 method” ensures a stagnant government, lacking in initiative and new ideas. Like most voters, I despise politicians, and their supporters, who use half-truths and outright lies to win at any cost. But when we have two very different philosophies about the kind of government we want – its size and agenda – the minority opinion could very easily win under the proposed system, which does away with party primaries.
Consider the consequences. Let’s say that a total of 10 people, 2 conservatives, 2 moderates, and 6 liberals decided to enter a race. If the 2 conservatives garnered 15% each of the vote, the rest splitting the remaining 70% fairly evenly with none exceeding 14.9%, the general election would ensure that 70% of the electorate would be disenfranchised, even though their philosophy prevailed in the primary.
Politics is a rough game, loud and rancorous. But the party primary system gives the various factions within a party much greater opportunity to debate what best represents consensus among their supporters. The winner then debates with the opposition and voters are given a much more refined choice.
The fact that supporters of OEOG raised an extra 100,000 signatures over and above the required 259,213, also leads me to believe that we need to take a look at that process. Fraudulent signature, on political petitions could flood the counting system and corrupt results. It is akin to voter fraud and should be dealt with while that subject is being debated.
Azcvoices.com is a network of community bloggers created by The Arizona Republic, azcentral.com and 12 News to highlight diverse viewpoints. Members' opinions do not represent the views of Republic Media.
Bio: Jim was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, went to Phoenix Union HS until joining USMC at 17, graduated from San Diego Evening HS during enlistment and graduated with BS at ASU after marriage and 3 kids. He started private work career as a Teamster, moved to management and spent his entire career in the freight business before retiring in Camp Verde, AZ.