Clearly, the worst feature of Proposition 14 is one that its advocates fail to mention at all. If only the top two candidates go on to compete in the general election, third party candidates will essentially be eliminated from general elections. This proposal does not reform the election process as it claims. It undermines it by reducing choice. It may arguably expand primary participation, but only at a cost of extinguishing healthy, democratic competition in the general election; the one that counts.
The driving force behind this ballot initiative is collusion between the two major parties, the Republicans and the Democrats. It is a shady deal with the goal of stifling debate and cementing the power of the major parties. It is a shameful attempt to muzzle the potential voices of real change so that only the Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum views of the major parties can be heard in the debate.
What are they afraid of? If they have better ideas, why try to stifle competition? The answer is they worry that the public has had enough of business as usual. Instead of competing fairly on an open field of ideas, they want to stack the deck in their favor.
And since incumbent politicians are responsible for Prop 14, they get to write the ballot summary that goes out to potential voters. Here's how those politicians, greedily pursuing their own self interest, have described the ballot proposal:
Ballot title and label: "Elections. Increases Right to Participate in Primary Elections." Reforms the primary election process for congressional, statewide, and legislative races. Allows all voters to choose any candidate regardless of the candidate’s or voter’s political party preference. Ensures that the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes will appear on the general election ballot regardless of party preference.
Official summary: Encourages increased participation in elections for congressional, legislative, and statewide offices by reforming the procedure by which candidates are selected in primary elections. Gives voters increased options in the primary by allowing all voters to choose any candidate regardless of the candidate’s or voter’s political party preference. Provides that candidates may choose not to have a political party preference indicated on the primary ballot. Provides that only the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes in the primary will appear on the general election ballot regardless of party preference. Does not change primary elections for President, party committee offices and nonpartisan offices.
What they do tell you sounds pretty good on the surface. What they don't tell you constitutes the greatest threat to our liberties and the democratic system that I have seen in my lifetime. This has got to be the most egregious example of Orwellian Doublespeak I have ever heard.
I urge those of you in California to vote NO on Proposition 14. For those of you who are not Californians, beware. What has been proposed in California could be coming to your state next.
For more information, go to StopTopTwo.Org, or go to ballotpedia.org.