Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Washington state seeks worse government - Supreme Court agrees

Alert reader APP informs me that the Supreme Court has just approved Washington state's adoption of the "Cajun" primary. This form of primary election, currently practiced only in Louisiana (hence the name), is essentially just a runoff. All candidates of all parties run in the election, and the top two vote-getters, even if they're in the same party, go to a runoff.

Yes, this assures more moderate officeholders, on the whole. It also means that any sense of order, responsibility, and accountability provided by the political parties goes right out the window. As any student of Louisana's current political system or California's under cross-filing (1913-1959) will tell you, strong parties may be annoying, but weak parties are an invitation for corruption.

I explain this in greater detail here, but the long and short of it is that government by the people pretty much doesn't exist. People simply do not have the time or interest (or, arguably, the competence) to run a government by themselves. So they shirk, and someone else steps in to organize government for them.

That entity can be a party -- which has a public agenda and can be voted out of office if it misbehaves -- or something else, like a group of unelected lobbyists. Or even an unelected super-lobbyist like Artie Samish (left) who controls all the other lobbyists, who control all the legislators. It can be many things, but it's not accountable to voters, and there's no reason to expect it would operate in their interests.

Good luck, Washington!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe in Colorado people can't be bothered (or trusted) to participate in their elections, and they need political party operatives to make their choices for them. Your invective against democracy - that people don't have the time or interest or competence to select their leaders - is both elitist and simplistic.

Here in Washington, the voters aren't dumbasses. They are able to select capable candidates, and they don't want to defer to the bosses in the smoke-filled rooms.

This Supreme Court result is great for people across the political spectrum - and I know this because it was argued (and won) before the Supreme Court by state Republican officials, and it's also fully supported by me and my wild-eyed lefty friends.

Keep running your political machine in Colorado. While the gears crank, I suggest you compare the electoral results you've had there, over the years, with the people Washington voters have elected. Allowing the people, rather than the political machines, to put candidates in office is a much better system, with proven results.

Good luck, Colorado!