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Truly loveable electoral change
In a recent column on this page (April 28, New primary election method wont be around long), columnist Adele Ferguson lamented the demise of the beloved primary blanket primary. Low turnout not withstanding, what was so lovable about a state system that paid the two biggest political parties several million dollars a year in corporate welfare?
If Governor Gary Locke and the Legislature were interested in genuine electoral reform, they would create primaries where the Democrats and Republicans are made to do what the Libertarians have always done: Choose their own candidates in their own way using their own money. If the state government insists on being involved prior to the general elections, then restrict it to subsidizing the selection process for the minor party and independent candidates.
Not only would such a privatization of the primary elections be more in harmony with the state constitution (which forbids corporate welfare in any form), it would also be a type of campaign finance reform. Most candidates, freed from the need to reach non-party members during the primary season, would be less dependent on political insiders and political action committees (PACs) for early contributions. That would be the kind of electoral change Washingtonians really could love.
Editor: Mr. McCally is a former chairman of the Libertarian Party of Washington.