FROM OCTOBER 11 to ELECTION DAY ARIZONA VOTERS CAN VOTE IN
YES IN SUPPORT OF TOP TWO OPEN PRIMARIES
HELP SPREAD THE WORD!
Here are sample letters written by other Arizona independents:
As you know, I do not usually share my specific political viewpoints. Like discussing religion, discretion can be more peaceful than disclosure. That being said, I strongly support free market economics and open minded public education initiatives, so here goes.
Milton Friedman, the famous American economist, once wrote a book called Free to Choose in which he suggested that the most important benefit of the free market system was it fairness to all who embrace it. His premise was that constricting public choice via obstructive legislation practices or excessive regulatory interference was simply an affront to a liberated society.
An example of constrictive practices is the current open primary issue and how Arizona Prop 121 might return the system to one of fairness.. To begin with, having more than one choice of candidates is certainly a good idea because it keeps us from dynastic government – whether it is a monarchy, fascist or dictatorship.
However, due to legislation designed to control Arizona voters rather allowing them the right to choose major party candidates, you must be registered within the party holding the primary election to participate – Democrat or Republican. The problem is that there are millions of independent voters who have no say in whom the two party candidates are nominated because they are excluded from the primary process by state law This is not a market constraint, but a party strategy to legislatively obstruct fair voting practices; resulting in a violation of the free will in our election process.
Some people think that open primaries would only serve the two major parties because party population densities might actually give us less choice. However, believers in liberty, like Friedman, would probably disagree. What do you think? If you believe that you should be free to choose whose name goes on the ballot and that the existing two party system obstructs your independent right to choose, please learn more about Prop 121 and make sure that your voice is heard in November.
Dear Friends and Family,
If you grumble about political gridlock (like me), and are unhappy with the state of current politics, we can do something about it, at least in AZ. Vote.
I encourage you to vote YES on Prop 121 – the Open Elections/Open Government Top Two Open Primary Initiative. It will change the voting system from one based on the political parties to a system based on the voter.
Prop 121 seems pretty simple to me. Like in a non-partisan election, all the candidates (regardless of their party affiliation) are listed on one ballot, and all the voters (regardless of their party affiliation) get to vote for any candidate in each race. The top two vote-getters go on to the general election. I like the idea that we can choose the best candidate in every race. All the candidates are on an equal footing and must compete against each other and make their case to all voters.
I expect we would see a change from the current climate of pandering to the factional extremes to win party nomination, then shifting to moderation in the general elections.
Not surprisingly, the parties (major and minor) don’t want to see Prop 121 passed. They like manipulating the present system. It works for them, but it doesn’t work for the people of Arizona (or the U.S., as far as I’m concerned). Early voting starts on October 11th.
If you disagree, let me know! Otherwise vote yes on 121!
Feel free to share!
If you are as unhappy as I am with the hyper-partisanship that infects Arizona politics, we can do something about it.
Join me and vote YES on Proposition 121, the Open Top Two Primary Initiative. If this initiative passes, it will change our voting system from one controlled by political bosses and lobbyists to one that gives every eligible voter a voice.
Proposition 121 is pretty simple and straightforward. Just like the nonpartisan system in effect now for almost every city in Arizona, all the candidates regardless of their party affiliation will be listed on one ballot, and all eligible voters, regardless of their party affiliation or independent status, will get to vote for any candidate in each race. The top two vote getters go on to the general election. This means that even in the primaries, candidates will need to appeal to a broad segment of voters, rather than solely to the partisan faithful in each party.
Independents are the fastest growing segment of Arizona voters. But today, Independents must request a ballot of one, and only one, of the political parties in order to vote in Arizona primaries. Do you think this is fair?
Not surprisingly, the parties don’t want to see Proposition 121 passed. They like the present system; it works for them but it doesn’t work for us, the people of Arizona.
Early voting starts on October 11th. Please join me and vote YES on Proposition 121.
Give ma a call or shoot me an email if you have questions or want to discuss.
Stepping Up to the Plate
Al Bell, Peoria, Arizona
October 1, 2012
Shall we approve or deny a different system for choosing most of our elected leaders? Proposition 121, the “Open Primary” or “Top-Two” proposed amendment to Arizona’s Constitution, offers the choice. I believe its potential benefits argue for approval.
Full disclosure: I was a registered Republican for over 50 years. I never automatically voted a straight party line, preferring instead to focus on broader considerations. I am now a registered Independent. I also support IndependentVoting.org. That reflects my long-standing concern about impacts of our hyper-partisan political environment; it does not dictate my position on specific legislation.
We have witnessed the roadblocks to getting 121 on the ballot. Now that it is, we have 24 pages in the Arizona Voters Guide devoted to the arguments pro and con.
I seek here to help clarify some pivotal points that I hope will be useful to undecided voters. My perspective reflects over 50 years of considering public issues with the intent of being evenhanded and objective. You will be the judge of my success here.
Major arguments against Proposition 121 are followed by my response.
1. Opponents say the current system works fine. The political parties agree. Yet, over a third of our voters are at a serious disadvantage. These growing ranks of voters are leaving the parties in frustration at the dominance of ideology over negotiation in solving our real problems. Citizens want resolution that can last instead of stalemate.
2. Opponents say Independents already have primary voting rights. Yes, if they are willing to temporarily identify with a “recognized” political party. This requirement essentially holds Independents hostage to the parties, certainly a strange form of “rights.”
3. Opponents insist Independents’ voting rights can be broadened by repealing strictures imposed by the political parties (see the AZ Republic article, Not Invited to the Party, September 28, 2012). How reasonable is it to expect such a reversal? Independents will likely be excluded from the conversation; political parties don’t readily shed power.
4. Opponents assert that minority party voices would be lost. Their voices are muted now. How many minority party members hold—or have ever held—State elective offices? The Arizona Legislative Manual describes political party caucuses (provided for by neither law nor the Constitution) as being either Democratic or Republican. It says they have “a long institutional history.” They certainly do.
5. Opponents project that 121 will cost more money than the status quo. It may, in direct costs. But what are the opportunity costs of subverting the rights of a third or more of the voters? Might additional costs even be worthwhile? What do gridlock or majority party unilateral decision-making cost current and future Arizonans?
On balance, I believe Proposition 121 is a worthwhile step for Arizona. It might even reenergize the lost heritage of bipartisan statesmanship. Who would bemoan that outcome? Why would they? Would you?
“We the people” need to step up to the plate. Please enact Proposition 121.