Proposition 14 Favors Moderates

Legislators haven't been having much luck lately solving California's budget woes.

But some think if they change their approach to solving problems it might help pull the state out of the economic gutter.  

Here’s how it goes. Right now, for example, if you're registered as a Republican or Democrat you have to vote your party in the primary election. But if  Proposition 14 passes it would allow voters to choose among any candidate of any party and the top two vote-getters would go to the general election.

According to studies like the non-partisan Center for Governmental Studies, that would give moderates the edge.  

"Whether or not it’s a good thing depends on whether you like moderate candidates,” says Brian Adams, political science professor at San Diego State University.  “I think it will definitely lead to more moderate leaders in the legislature who would be better able to reach compromises if you like compromise.”

But  that’s one of the debates. “There’s a polarization,” says  J.T. Smith also a  poli-sci lecturer at SDSU,  who says part of the problem is that state legislature is "entrenched in an ideological battle. “

“It all boils down to a fundamental disagreement with how to deal with our problems,"says Adams.

The major political parties are not likely to go for an open primary. Mike McSweeney , vice chairman of the San Diego County Republican party says proponents of Prop 14  are “unhappy with election results so they want to change the rules.“

The major political parties like the way it is now, because it will insure that their candidate will go to the general election.

While  Adams thinks Prop 14 is a long shot because it takes money to spread the word, Smith says he thinks it has a chancem "acknowledging there is a problem is the first step to recovery. It’s a window of opportunity. Voters might  have to roll the dice.”


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