It’s worth remembering, as Democrats proceed with programs that have failed in the past and as Republican insiders strive to rig their own nomination process, that the political parties are private organizations. They are not governments.
They are groups of people working to gain control over government — and that control can only ever be temporary. Let us hope.
Over many years of activism in politics I’ve supported openness in elections and ballot access, working for a variety of reforms, including the securing of the rights to initiative, referendum and recall. I’ve also contemplated a few less simple ideas, like Instant Runoff Voting and proportional representation, both designed to break (or at least ease up on) the stranglehold that the two-party system has over American democracy.
But additional reforms are worth thinking about. One, for instance, would prohibit any mention of a party name on a ballot.
Since the parties are private groups, they ought not have special access to the public ballot. All the more because the two parties are a problem in and of themselves — their perennial clamor for power perverts political discourse, unnecessarily restricting and channeling the direction of debate.
Such rules already hold sway in many county and municipal governments throughout the country. It could be instructive to study the differences in politicking and policy.
For todays’ growing ranks of independent and unaffiliated voters, perhaps the motivations in favor wouldn’t wholly be rational, but partly vengeful.
And perhaps partisans might wish to consider the reasons for that kind of anti-partisan sentiment.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.