Every so often, a proposition comes up that seems to be the cure to the ills that plague our state but in reality is nothing but a replacement for the tough reforms that have to be made. Proposition 14 is one example of such populist pandering.
Pushed by Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado, the change to California election law is intended to build bipartisanship in the state legislature and to empower moderates stuck between the conservative and liberal extremes. It does so by creating a “top two” primary election, where voters are able to vote for any candidate on the ballot, regardless of party. The top two vote-getters advance to a run-off for the office. Sounds good, right?
The problem lies in the details. As UCDC Executive Director Bruce Cain asserts, Louisiana and Washington state both have versions of this system, yet few would argue their political leaders are somehow more moderate than our own.
Further, we are concerned about the effect of this ballot proposition on third party voices that would effectively be shut out between the primary and the election. This measure’s supporters do not have much empirical evidence to support their claims, but the danger of Prop. 14 is clear.
Vote ‘no’ on 14.