Just about the only thing liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans agree on in California is that an open primary is a bad idea. That makes Proposition 14, which creates the open primary, an easy call: Voters should pass the measure if they want to get rid of dysfunctional politicians in Sacramento.
The reason that party extremists oppose Proposition 14 is the current system gives them influence well beyond what their numbers in California entitle them to have. The extremes dominate most party primaries, giving voters two bad options in the general election -- either a liberal Democrat or conservative Republican.
Moderates have no chance in most districts, even though Californians are much closer to the political center than our elections indicate. That's one more reason so many voters are fleeing the parties and becoming independents. They aren't being represented by the people controlling the Democratic and Republican parties.
The current system for nominating candidates distorts politics, especially in relation to the California Legislature where there is little common ground between Democrats and Republicans. How are they going to get anything accomplished? They are so far apart philosophically, there's not room to negotiate.
That would change under Proposition 14, and that scares those running the political parties. There's a simple rule in politics. If both parties are adamantly against something, the public should be on the other side.
The last time the two parties worked together was to oppose redistricting reform. They were in cahoots to keep their "safe seats." But voters finally saw through the self-serving way that legislative districts are drawn.
The next reform the voters must adopt is the open primary. That comes on June 8 in the form of Proposition 14.
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