Friday, July 11, 2014

Open Primary Petition For Florida

While looking at this year's proposed state amendment items, I looked at the list of Active (those not yet filed) amendments floating out there and came across one that I feel deserves a chance for a vote.

A petition for Open Primaries, which allows non-party voters to participate, and to have the primaries competitive between candidates - rather than candidates within each party - setting up the top two vote-getters regardless of party to run for the general election.  It's similar to the primary system they use in California right now.

There's a lot of reasons to support an primary system like this.  It encourages the moderate elements of a party to run an alternative candidate to the (most likely) hard-value candidate the more extremist elements are pushing for.  It would encourage candidates across the board to appeal to the broad base of voters rather than the specific (usually extremist) base of a specific party.  It encourages opposing parties to at least bring in a challenging candidate for a gerrymandered "safe" district that could appeal to the independent/no-party-affiliate voters stuck in that gerrymander, and who could survive the primary as the second-choice candidate to then campaign more fully for the general (that this could weaken gerrymandering overall is another positive).  It gives an independent or third-party candidate a chance to step up.  This does run the risk of more extremist candidates regardless of party to survive to a general election, but competition in my humble opinion is vastly better than a non-competitive district just sitting there with a safe incumbent coasting along doing nothing to appeal to the people (and the crazy 99 times out of 100 should filter out: I trust the majority of voters to do the right thing).

So I'm all for this petition getting to a ballot as a voter referendum.

Here's the deal: You gotta be a resident of the state of Florida, and must be able to verify your address and stuff.  You can't go signing other people's names to it: you can and should ask your friends to get on board and sign for this amendment proposal so we can have it for a vote for 2016.

Here's the link to the MoveOn petition site.  The group promoting this - Florida Independent Voting - has a printable petition you can submit (which I think is the more legitimate process: paperwork counts).

So... can I get the seven people who visit my blog to get their Florida relatives to sign on? (hopeful grin)

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