Yup… you read the headline. And all I can say at the moment is that I’m both surprised and disappointed.
“Wow!” Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed said when told of the decision. “That’s terrific! It means the people of the state of Washington are going to be able to control who gets elected through this process.”
Reed said the top-two system will take effect with the August primary election.
“This is a victory for the state of Washington,” he said in an interview.
Reed said the ruling sets a precedent that will allow other states to break political party control on primary elections.
Yeah, well, be careful what you wish for Sam. Now that the parties have lost all control over the nominating process, their only influence can come from raising and spending huge gobs of cash on their favored candidates. That means rather than being hands off a primary battle, the party bigwigs will be forced to pick a candidate early, and the role of money (and the wealthy people who have it) only becomes more pronounced.
In fact, primary elections in Washington state have just become a big, fat waste of time and money. The whole purpose of a primary election is to enable the parties to choose their candidates through more democratic means, rather than via smoke filled rooms. Now that you’ve done away with that, and entirely removed the parties from the nominating process, we might as well skip the primary and go straight to a general election… that way the ultimate winner can be chosen on a ballot that folks actually turnout for.
Dumb fucking Washingtonians and our pathological need to be different. And dumb fucking party leadership for challenging the old blanket primary, which may have sucked, but was a helluva lot better than what we’re stuck with now.
“I think we’ll see it around the country,” [Reed] said.
Hey Chris Vance and Paul Berendt… how’s that working out for you?