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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Friday, July 27, 2007

The End of Party Primaries in Mississippi?

July 23-- Lillian Shaw of Okolona, Mississippi had an interesting letter in today’s Clarion-Alleger.

“Yellow dog, red dog, blue dog! The correct response of the Legislature to U.S. District Judge Allen Pepper’s ruling that the state must change its primary election laws is to simply stop having state supported and sponsored primaries.”

The legislature could certainly either 1) eliminate primaries and provide other nominating option(s) or 2) not specify any nominating options for the parties at all. Since number 2 would leave the parties to their own devices, the parties would be very unlikely to hold primaries, as they would be unable/unwilling to bear the expense. And since our citizens are accustomed to party primaries, the legislature will surely continue to mandate and finance primaries, regardless of the outcome of the Democrats’ lawsuit.

Another thing to remember is that some elections are decided in one party’s primary, e.g., the elections for county officials in Hinds and Rankin counties. If we had, say, nominating conventions instead of primaries, grassroots voters would have no say-so in those elections.

“Let the Democrat Party and the Republican Party select the candidates they wish to place on the general ballot in the same way the Reform Party, the Green Party, and the Libertarian do.”

Since 1903, Mississippi’s only nominating option has been the party primary. If any of our seven small parties ever have more than one candidate for the same office, they will have to conduct a primary. I think the legislature should give the small parties the option of nominating by convention, but, again, the need has not arisen, since those parties do well to come up with one candidate for an office.

By the way: we’ll soon have two more parties, the Southern Party and Unity08. Our state has some of the easiest requirements for new parties to register, and I hope that doesn’t change.

This commentary is also posted at Yall Politics.


Blogger unitybroth said...

Thank you for posting about Unity08. I look forward to fixing the country together!

Bob Roth
VP Online Marketing

Tue Aug 07, 06:28:00 AM CDT  

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