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August 12, 2003

Bringing California to New York

Mayor Bloomberg wants to change the ballot system in New York City to look like the upcoming California recall ballot-- everyone jumps on regardless of party affiliation with no primaries. It's a bad idea. At least here there will be a runoff, but the reality is that it still creates the possibility of three or four candidates of similar views representing more than 50% of the vote knocking each other out in the first round, only to see the runoff between two candidates who do not represent the majority.

The point of primaries is to let people of similar views decide who best represents their values and narrow the choice on the final ballot to a single champion against other groups doing the same. It's largely the right idea.

About the best correction that could be made is not eliminating primaries but allowing instant runoff voting at the time of the ballot, to encourage people to vote for third parties without fear of spoilers.

Posted by Nathan at August 12, 2003 08:54 AM