Tuesday, September 1, 2009
It's ironic that the leaders of the state's two major political parties are not particularly politic.
If they were adept at building public support for their candidates and causes they would have dropped their lawsuit aimed at derailing the popular and effective top-two primary election system.
The top-two primary was adopted after Republicans and Democrats, as well as Libertarians, took legal action to kill the old primary election system. That system, allowing voters to cross party lines, was thrown out.
The parties might have won the first legal battle, but not the political war.
The Washington State Grange, in an effort to bring the power back to the people, pushed an initiative in 2004 that established the top-two system. The concept is clearly a better fit for Washington's independent-minded voters.
The top-two system calls for the top-two vote getters, regardless of political party, to move on to the General Election ballot. That means two Republicans or two Democrats could be on the November ballot.
The party leaders, of course, hate that idea. They want to see the state return to the thankfully short-lived system that mandates voters pick a Republican or Democratic ballot.
It's ridicoulous. If the political parties want a primary, then they should foot the bill.
The voters have wisely rejected the parties' constricting approach and have opted to take control of their primary elections.
The parties should accept the people's judgment -- or risk a voter backlash.
Secretary of State Sam Reed and his staff have done an outstanding job of crafting the top-two primary election to ensure that it is constitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 against the parties legal challenge of the top-two.
Politicians -- the Republicans and Democrats serving in the Legislature and statewide offices -- should denounce their parties' efforts to undermine the voters.
The legal challenge will ultimately go nowhere and only serve to anger voters.
The leaders of the Republican, Democratic and Libertarian parties would be politic to drop their legal challenge and spend their time, money and energy building public support for their candidates and causes.
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