Measure 90 would throw out what most people consider as THE central theme of primary elections – which Democrat and Republican will survive their own political family fight in the primary and face each other in November’s general election.
Trouble is, even though all taxpayers fund the primary, those who aren’t democrats or republicans (roughly 30%) DON’T GET TO VOTE! Independents are left out in the cold waiting to find out which republican or democrat they’ll be forced to vote for in November. Write in candidates never have a chance.
If Measure 90 is approved all that would change. Any and everybody who wants to run in the primary, regardless of party affiliation, would get their name on the ballot and the top two vote-getters – regardless of party – would face each other in November. Measure 90 supporters say that it would force candidates to stick to the issues throughout the campaign, rather than party politics. Issues. Not label flinging.
But those against Measure 90 complain that there’s plenty of room under the tents of both democrats and republicans. But Measure 90 supporters complain that the current system sets up a “now you see me, now you don’t” sort of philosophical costume change as candidates play to their most liberal or conservative base in the primary election, and then race for the middle ground in the general in November. Many call such a method of picking finalists nothing short of intellectual dishonesty – as well as glaringly undemocratic.
A guest editorial in The Oregonian really gets into the issue. Click here.