Top Two destroyed third parties

June 12, 2012

By John Seiler

More than two years ago on CalWatchDog.com, I was the first to report that the Top Two voting system would destroy third parties. My article was entitled, “Will Prop. 14 kill third parties?

It did.

Prop. 14 passed that year. It set up the system we have now, by which anyone, of any party, can run in the June primary. But then only the “top two” winners advance to the November general election.

I reported:

I talked to three of the four top “other parties” or “minor parties,” as they sometimes call themselves. Currently, they’re the only four parties that meet state law to be automatically listed on state primary and general-election ballots. The Peace and Freedom Party didn’t get back to me.

Prop. 14 would be disastrous for minor parties, Libertarian Party spokesman Richard Winger told me.

The other parties I talked to were the Green Party and the American Independent Party.

Critics pointed out that, in other states that had adopted the Top Two system, Washington and Louisiana, no third-party candidate ever had advanced to the finals.

Well that’s just what happened here in our June 5 election. Reported Capitol Weekly:

“no minor-party candidate was among the top voter getters in any of the Assembly, state Senate or congressional races across California. In addition, the law that created the top-two primary eliminated write-in candidates.”

So we’re stuck with the usual Democrats and Republicans who have messed with us for more than a century. Top Two was supposed to bring more “moderate” candidates.

What it really did was reduce choice and shut down dissent.

If a small, Third World country had done this, right now the U.S. president would be sending in the drones.

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  1. Donkey
    Donkey 12 June, 2012, 22:35

    John Wrote: “What it really did was reduce choice and shut down dissent.”

    And this is exactly what the RAGWUS is seeking,to “shut down dissent.” We see it in our courts, at our council meetings, and at any state board or legislative meeting. Keep the regular folk quite by making it illegal to speak the truth in the hope of censoring the opposition. 🙂

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  2. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 13 June, 2012, 10:38

    Don’t worry too much Mr. Seiler, these kinds of reforms don’t change anything for better or worse. Term limits were supposed to fix things and look how that worked out. Kind of like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Even if a third party candidate got as far as a general election (which they don’t) they wouldn’t stand a chance anyway. Tinkering with the system doesn’t fix the fundamental problem. To paraphrase James Carville, It’s the stupid voters, stupid!

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  3. Hondo
    Hondo 13 June, 2012, 11:45

    Dyspeptic is right. The voters vote for anyone who will give them ‘free’ stuff. Social security, medicare, medicaid. Even the conservatives say don’t cut their medicare.
    But the voters ignore easy to find facts and figures. The math is simple and doesn’t add up. If the voters vote for more taxes without public union reform, they get what they paid for. Less private sector jobs and more deficits. How is that gonna balance the budget.
    Hondo…..

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