September 28, 2004

More Primary System Silliness (Not in Washington This Time)

According to this story on the (new and improved) Michael Badnarik campaign blog, yet another primary system is being challenged in the Supreme Court. The Libertarian Party has sued the state of Oklahoma on the grounds that its primary system violates the Party's right of freedom of political association by not allowing the Party to invite registered members of other parties to vote in their primary. I find this very curious, as the Libertarian Party of Washington State seems to have been a party to the lawsuit which invalidated Washington's old primary system (the press release from the Secretary of State's office says the suit was brought by Washington's "major parties;" the Libertarians are technically a "major party" in Washington and all of the subsequent press releases, such as this one include the Libertarian Party along with the Republicans and Democrats). In that case, the parties sued because the primary system forced them to allow non-party members to vote in their primary. Now, I understand that the Libertarian Party doesn't like government funded primaries - I'm right there with you! - but c'mon guys, when are you going to be happy? We've got to work within the system. That's why in order to join the Libertarian Party you have to sign a pledge that says "I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals." Now, granted, lawsuits don't amount to "initiation of force," at least not in the way that pledge means it, but serious, this isn't accomplishing anything. It would be far better to try to get elected and actually change the law by legislative means than to keep going to court. There was nothing wrong with Washington's primary system (yes, I suppose there is something wrong with Oklahoma's, but it's not THAT bad), although Instant Runoff Voting would be much better. It gave an equal chance to all candidates. And why do we oppose I-872 so strongly? There's not really anything wrong with that either, although, again, IRV is better. Let's work within the system, guys. I-318 and the Badnarik campaign are great examples of attempts to do so, so stop the lawsuits. They waste everyone's time and money, and invalidating Oklahoma's primary system won't get Badnarik on the ballot this year.

Posted by Kenny at September 28, 2004 8:00 PM
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