Not too many tears being shed round the partisan world this morning for the Top Two. Not that I was any big fan, it just seems that the writing on the wall is that if the parties didn’t like this one, I wonder how they’re going to feel about a non-partisan election system statewide?
Don Whiting, a Grange spokesman, said the farm-rooted organization isn’t giving up in its effort to allow Washington’s primary voters to choose any candidate of any party.
Whiting said if Zilly’s decision is upheld on appeal, the Grange might consider sponsoring another initiative, to give the state a completely non-partisan primary, in which candidates would run without stating a party affiliation. “In (Zilly’s) opinion, at least, it has to be completely a non-partisan primary in order for a voter to vote for whatever candidate he wants,” Whiting said.
Secretary of State Sam Reed similarly suggested the possibility of yet another version of a modified blanket primary, commenting, “I’m relieved (Zilly) didn’t say that the Top Two per se is unconstitutional, but this particular version is. … What we may have to do is go back to the drawing board and figure out how to do it in a way that is constitutional.”
The least we can expect is that this isn’t over, not nearly over. Washington State had the so-called “Jungle Primary” for 70 years, it has shaped the way people think about political parties and voting. Being forced — and that is the way they feel, forced — to choose a political party isn’t a comfortable thing for most Washington citizens.
That the parties challenged the Top Two, imperfect as it is, or the jungle primary in the first place, shows a general disconnect from party activists and rank and file voters. Instead of pushing back each time the voters decide on a system they like, the parties should do the opposite of forcing people into our ranks and instead make the parties more open.
Horsesass.org: Judge tosses out “top-two” primary
Washington State Political Report: Primary
NW Progressive: Zilly: “Top Two” Primary is Unconstitutional
NW Progressive: Zilly’s Injunction
Josef’s Public Journal: Top-2 (Dumb-@$$) Primary Scrapped
Evergreen Politics: “Top two” primary is history
NW Progressive: Reed to auditors: Back to the open primary
Progressive Majority Washington: Second chance for Dunn, Edmonds, Hobbs