California’s new open primary system debuts on Tuesday

On Tuesday, Californians vote in their first ever open primary. Voters can vote for any candidate. They are no longer bound to vote solely for a candidate of their party. Here’s the kicker. The top two vote getters regardless of party affiliation face off in the general election.

The idea here is that this will produce more moderate candidates and thus help end the eternal gridlock that is California politics. Let’s hope so.

But when Californians realize that many general election races will be between two members of the same party, they might have second thoughts. Also, such elections will be bad for party unity because the two candidates will almost certainly attack each other.

This is also damaging to third parties because a major way they keep ballot status in California is by polling 2% in any statewide race in a non-presidential general election. But it is doubtful that any third parties will now be able to make it to the general election. So they will have to do it by having as many registered members as one percent of the previous total vote in the governor’s race. The Green and American Independent parties have enough voters. The Libertarian and Peace and Freedom parties do not.

One noticeable trend in Tuesday’s election is former Republicans running as independents, some of whom are self-financing their campaigns.This includes Bill Bloomfield (33rd Congressional), Chad Walsh (State Assembly 28), and Anthony Adams (8th Congressional.) They all want to work across the aisle. Adams was a Republican assembly member who survived a recall attempt after voting with Democrats to raise taxes so the budget would pass.

This will be quite an experiment in democracy. Despite possible pitfalls, open primaries could well help bring an end to insane hyper-partisan politics in California. And it starts on Tuesday.

Can California’s new open primaries end partisan gridlock?

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The upcoming open primaries on June 5 will alter California’s political landscape considerably. Will open primaries help end political gridlock? Let’s hope so. But they could also lead to serious divisions within parties and might not lead to much change at all.

In the first-ever open primaries on June 5th, California voters can vote for any candidate and are not bound by party affiliation. The top-two vote getters then face each other in the general election in November. This means independent and decline-to-state voters will be able to vote in the primaries, something which has never happened before. This almost certainly means that more votes will be cast and some results may well be unexpected.

Since most districts in California lean toward one of the major parties, open primaries almost guarantees that many general election races will be between members of the same party.

More on the upcoming California open primaries.

California water wars spotlight. Sacramento Delta

Suisun Marsh Salinity Control Gates near Collinsville. Credit: water.ca.gov

The Sacramento Delta is ground zero for California water wars. Water from it is pumped to the Central Valley for agriculture and also to southern California. But the Delta needs that water for farming, fishing, and recreation.

This is second in my series of articles for IVN on the California water wars

The previous article was California Water Wars Spotlight: San Joaquin Valley

Coming soon, California Water Wars Spotlight: MWD, the Southland Gorilla!

California legislators clueless on mountain lion hunting

40 Democratic legislators in California want the head of the Fish and Game Commission to resign because he killed a mountain lion legally in Idaho.

Veteran Sacramento Bee reporter Dan Walters slams this idiocy.

Mountain lion hunting is illegal in California, thanks to a ballot measure approved by voters in 1990. It is, however, not illegal for mountain lions to hunt human beings, as several attacks attest.

Burp. I guess it’s ok to not cull mountain lion population in California even if they eat little Timmy and Fido because doing so would just somehow be wrong and not organic and crispy green or something. Maybe they could ask a rancher whose livestock has been killed by mountain lions his opinion on how wonderful they are.

Walters then details the massive hypocrisy of the legislature on other issues, making for a good read indeed.

[This is] the sort of hypocritical, politically correct claptrap for which the Legislature has become justly infamous.