The nonpartisan Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles has released an excellent analysis of the impacts of Proposition 14, the open primary initiative on the June 8 ballot.
The authors’ chief conclusions support proponents’ arguments that open primaries could generate more competition, increase the number of moderates in elected office and boost the impact of nonpartisan, or decline to state voters.
But the experts also agree that it could hike the cost of campaigns and the role that money plays in elections.
Proposition 14, if voters pass it, will eliminate the party primary system in California. Voters could choose among all the candidates, regardless of party registration. The top two vote-getters would advance to the general election, also without regard for party affiliation.
A reluctant Legislature placed the measure on the ballot in exchange for then GOP state Sen. Abel Maldonado’s vote in favor of the 2009 California budget.
Predictably, the political parties hate it.
But proponents hail the measure as an essential governance reform that could lead to the election of more centrists and ease the political ideological polarization in Sacramento.
To read the 113-page report, visit www.cgs.org. The report contains a concise and very readable executive summary for the less wonky readers.