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Free Citizen

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

Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Sunday, May 02, 2010

The Voice of God?

Another round in my "comments war" with Jim Riley of Texas. Jim's remarks are italicized.


"... explain how non-majority elections with partisan candidates running against a fellow member of their party... are so useful."

You mean like Joe Lieberman in Connecticut and Charlie Crist in Florida (and, for that matter, Theodore Roosevelt vs. William Howard Taft in 1912)?

Only Louisiana and Washington state use the "top two open primary"[1] to elect all of their state officials; Washington alone uses it to elect its congressional delegation. The only other state that requires a popular majority (50-plus percent) to win a general election is Georgia.

Thus 48 states[2]-- unlike you-- do not consider the voice of the majority to be the Voice of God-- although the winners of most general elections do get 50-plus percent.

A number of U. S. presidents have been elected with less than 50 percent of the popular vote--Lincoln, Wilson, Nixon, Clinton... to name several.

"I don’t see what… is so significant about the 2.8% of the vote received by the Green Party candidate, or [the] Libertarian candidate who received 0.8% [in Louisiana's 2008 general election for one U. S. House seat]."

What’s significant about those candidates is that (A) they gave the voters more choices in the final, deciding election, and (B) their supporters were able to vote for their favorite candidate in that final election. Also, the Green Party and the Libertarian Party had their messages presented in the campaign in which the larger number of voters were paying attention.

Your beloved “top two open primary” would, in all likelihood, eventually cause the small parties to become extinct. Then the voters would also have fewer choices in the FIRST round. But let’s face it: You don’t give a damn about political parties anyway-- large or small.


[1] All candidates, including independents, run in the same election. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party, advance to the runoff.

[2] Since Washington state permits write-in votes, it does not mandate 50-plus percent for a candidate to be elected. This leaves solely Louisiana and Georgia that do require 50-plus percent.


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