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Free Citizen

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

Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Thursday, September 06, 2007

More From the Echo Chamber

Here’s another dispatch from the echo chamber, this one bearing the imprint of Sidney Salter: “When [Ike] Brown and Ellis Turnage went to court seeking to close Mississippi’s open primary system, they did so on the basis that they didn’t want Republicans… having any influence over the outcome of Democratic primaries and the choices made by Democratic voters in those primaries.”

This lawsuit was authorized by the state Democratic Executive Committee, the party’s governing body, of which Ike Brown is just one member. Attorney Turnage is representing the party pro bono in this case. If the suit had been improperly filed, U. S. District Judge Allen Pepper would have dismissed it.

If the courts ultimately strike down our state-mandated open primary system-- as I believe they will-- the state will no longer determine who votes in which party primary. Rather, each party will decide that. The Republicans have said that they will keep open GOP primaries: ALL voters will be invited. The Democrats, on the other hand, have indicated that they will have semi-closed primaries: independents will be invited, but Republicans will be excluded from Democratic primaries.

“... it’s disengenuous (sic) for Democrats who have sat back and let [Ike] Brown and others… file lawsuits to force a more partisan electoral process in the state...”

Once the final ruling has been issued in the Democrats’ suit, Mississippi will likely have what some 28 states already have-- a primary election system in which the state does not force the parties to let non-members vote in their primaries, their candidate-selection process. When a state has two competitive parties, there is bound to be partisanship.

“As the two-party system matures in Mississippi, partisanship will supercede (sic) race as the lowest common denominator in state politics.”

I wonder if Sidney means this literally. Some of our greatest leaders-- Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Reagan, e.g.-- have been quite partisan. If you want to see partisanship, take a look at the Thomas Jefferson-John Adams presidential races of 1796 and 1800.

The way a two-party system is supposed to work is that the parties compete for power, and the one that winds up in the minority functions as the "loyal opposition" and as a "watchdog" on the majority party.


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