Deborah Gold’s diagnosis is accurate (Jan. 4 Statesman, Guest Opinion): Idaho’s political system is sick. She called it unhealthy because it functions as one-party state and prescribed opening the primary.
Reopening the primary does two things. One, it returns the privacy to all voters that we used to take for granted, what we called “the sanctity of the voting booth.”
Second, reopening the primary gives back to unaffiliated voters the freedom to choose to vote on elected positions that are decided in the primary (those offices where only Republicans run). If the primary is not reopened, then either put those races on the unaffiliated (nonpartisan) ticket, or the candidates should have to run in the general election. Fair is fair.
When a government-funded primary — in what is essentially a one-party state — excludes taxpaying voters from voting on decisive races, it is taxation without the opportunity to decide representation.
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But a return to an open primary — alone — won’t cure the disease of a one-party state. The logical political tool unaffiliated voters have available is the second party. Help the Democratic Party become competitive. Republicans believe in competition. After all, isn’t competition what drives us away from mediocrity and toward excellence?
Victoria M. Young, Caldwell