California Dreams

2010 June 13
by Dave

Last week California approved proposition 14. Primaries will now be completely open and the top two vote getters will go to a run-off. So in a heavily Democratic district, the top two vote getters might both be Democrats and thus the more moderate of them will be likely to get the support of their district’s Republican voters in the fall.

In California it only takes a 5% voter registration advantage for one party to have a guaranteed safe seat in any district. So for most races in any November you will see the top Republican versus the top Democrat. It would take much more than a 5% registration gap to consistently allow two candidates from the same party to make it to the run-off. Hopefully forcing candidates in the safest seats to worry about getting votes from the opposite end of  the political spectrum will cause some attempts to outflank rivals towards the center.

I truly believe that California’s state politics are deeply flawed. I think that prop 14 is a small change that will not drive large scale differences in the make-up of Sacramento, but I do think that it is worth doing and I hope that it is a catalyst for greater political reforms.

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