In early June, the sagacious people of California voted to institute Proposition 14, which called for something called the “Top Two” system. In short, the “Top Two” system changes the idea of a partisan primary. It places all the candidates from each party onto one ballot. Each candidate has the option of stating her/his “party preference,” but is not required to do so. This leaves the general election to the top two vote getters, regardless of their party.
This all happened two and a half months ago…why am I writing about it now?
Because we’re on the downhill of one of the hottest political climates in American history. The residue of effects from the 2008 election season and the inauguration of Barack Obama has not yet worn off quite yet.
(Then) Senator Obama’s presidential campaign rallied millions of young people– as well as middle aged and older people who had never been involved before– to become wholeheartedly invested in the political process.
Let’s invoke Obama– in his own words– on the night that he lost the New Hampshire primary.
“There is something happening when Americans who are young in age and in spirit – who have never before participated in politics – turn out in numbers we’ve never seen because they know in their hearts that this time must be different.”
You can call it cliché or banal, but it’s true. The 2008 election started a wave, and young Americans are still riding that wave. But I oppose this “Top Two” law for perhaps a very selfish purpose; a purpose, however, that I believe is of the utmost importance in this a society that is losing any connection to its roots and is falling deeper and deeper into a black hole of worldly ignorance and profound civil negligence.
In the election process’ current form, if you voted for Hillary in the primary, chances are that you voted for Obama in the general election– because both candidates shared basic Democratic party platform principles. And chances are that if you voted for Romney in the primary, you voted for McCain in the general– for the same reasons as stated above.
This law– the “Top Two” law– inadvertently (or perhaps intentionally) discourages thousands of Californians from voting. If both candidates are Republicans, then thousands of Democrats won’t vote and vice versa. And in a time when Americans, let alone Californians, need to have a say in what’s going on in their governments, this law is counterproductive and unwarranted.