Monday, August 30, 2010

Primary Elections are private

Having had many conversations recently regarding primary election process with my husband and others, I have come to the position that political parties are private, not public, clubs. As such those clubs should not be wasting public time or public monies to do anything that is solely an internal matter; deciding candidates to run in elections for public office. Following is an excerpt from a letter to the editor on this topic written by Dick Wells.

"Since political parties are private clubs; and as such, they are necessarily like any other "special interest" group; therefore, it is perfectly permissible for them to exclude valid candidates from their "forums." Is it not possible for someone else, other than the power parties, to conduct a forum to offer a balanced opportunity to all the candidates?

It does however, beg question of why the public bears the cost of selecting the party's candidates in a primary election, if we cannot hear from all the candidates who can receive our vote in November. Moreover, is there not doubt concerning whether or not a voter is really a party member when he casts his vote in the primary, in that party? Nothing beyond personal integrity will keep a voter from voting in the opposition party's election to enhance his party's candidate's chances by ruining a stronger, opposition-candidate's chances. That being the case, what makes anyone think the people made "their" choice in picking a party's candidate in a primary election?

I believe that there is a strong argument for abolishing the primary election entirely, unless it is in each party's central committee meeting, and leave the public's money completely out of the picture until the general election. Let each political party decide amongst themselves, who their candidates will be. Think about it: no endless campaigning, until the month or two before the general election, unless you are attending party meetings."
Dick Wells - Thompson Falls

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