I made a comment on Face book the other day about closed primaries. I don’t understand why people are so exorcised about them. The system isn’t new, having been practiced for decades. Folks who want to participate in a primary register with the party of their choice and vote. It’s never been clear to me why Democrats should vote in Republican primaries or visa versa. Primaries, after all, aren’t elections. They a preliminaries to an election.
My fuzzy mindedness has lost me a friend or two on Face book. Nonetheless, I continue to think open primaries pose problems. Consider the current situation in California. No Republican has declared for Barbara Boxer’s Senate seat, so California Republicans are free to affect the outcome of the Democratic primary. In the current face-off, two women democrats are in the running: Loretta Sanchez and Kamala Harris. (Click)
Sanchez is considered to be the more conservative of the two, so Republicans are pouring money into her campaign. Perhaps they hope to put a little “r” before that Democrat label. (Republican/Democrat,” by Josh Eidelson and Tom Higgins, Bloomberg Businessweek, June 6-12, 2016, pg. 19.) Whatever the motive, I find it ironic that in an open primary, Trump supporters are allowed to erode the strength of the more liberal candidate and liberal Democrats, who support open primaries, are happy to see that happen.
If anyone cares to explain why open primaries are a virtue, I’m listening Till then, I continue to think it’s simpler for Democrats and Republicans to vote in their separate primaries. As for independents, of which I am one, staying outside the primary process is a matter of choice and easily changed.