The Moderate Washingtonian

Outlook on politics and elections in the state of Washington from an overall centrist viewpoint. My views tend to be libertarian in nature, but at the same time are largely nonpartisan.

09 February 2007

The Grange is back

And they're pushing for getting rid of our lame "pick-a-party" primary (good) in favour of having nonpartisan races for all state offices (not so sure). I've always loved the Grange for sticking up for Joe Voter against our increasingly-powerful state parties, and I want to get back to a more open primary just as much as the next guy, but I have a feeling that pursuing nonpartisan elections either in the legislature or as an intiative will be a waste of time and effort. For people like you and I, those who obsess over the intricacies of the electoral process and place election day on a pedestal on-par with Christmas and Thanksgiving, this sort of idea becoming law wouldn't be too big of an issue. However, I doubt most voters will be up to researching candidate backgrounds without the luxury of handy little letters after people's names. I think the Grange should save their money and be prepared to push for statewide instant-runoff voting after Pierce County shows us how much it kicks ass. After all, Sam Reed has already said he likes the idea, and if 2004 was any indication, another Grange-Reed tagteam would stand a good chance of success at the ballot box.

Update: I just found a post at Northwest Progressive Institute about this topic. Seems to me the folk at NPI are more partisan than progressive these days.



At 8:47 AM, Blogger Richard Winger said...

Or, why doesn't the Grange organize itself as a political party? In the 1920's the Grange was the backbone of the Washington state Farmer-Labor Party, which regularly polled over 20% of the vote (1922-1924-1926), sometimes as much as 30% of the statewide vote.

At 9:33 AM, Anonymous peter said...

I have not looked at the proposal, but my guess is they are not seeking nonpartisan elections, but have a nonpartisan primary elections. This is similar to the Louisiana election, but instead of having a general election with runoff's they have a nonpartisan primary then a general election. After the top two have moved on their political party label is on the general ballot. Of course if they get over 50% of the primary vote there is no general election for the race.

At 1:53 PM, Blogger TMW said...

"Or, why doesn't the Grange organize itself as a political party?" - Richard

I, for one, would love to have a strong third party option around here again.

"I have not looked at the proposal, but my guess is they are not seeking nonpartisan elections, but have a nonpartisan primary elections." - Peter

When I first heard of the idea it only concerned primaries (something I would probably support), but the Times article I linked to talks as if both primary and general elections would be nonpartisan. That, I fear, might be a bit overkill.

At 10:42 PM, Blogger Kelly Haughton said...

FYI. Recently introduced Senate Bill 6000 would allow cities and other local taxing entities to use IRV to elect their officials. This bill is specifically aimed at Pierce County cities where the County Auditor is already acquiring the technology to run IRV elections.

At 4:51 PM, Blogger TMW said...

I hadn't heard of that bill yet, thanks for the tip! I've also linked your IRV weblog, keep up the good work.


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