John Gannon’s guest opinion about closed primaries and caucuses was mostly on point. He rightly condemned how caucuses disenfranchise voters. He was completely wrong regarding open primaries. Political parties are basically clubs whose members, more or less, share certain beliefs and values. There is no logical or legal reason for a political party to open up its primary to those who don’t share those beliefs and who, in fact, may oppose them. Should people owning stock in Ford be allowed to vote who the next chairman of GM will be? It’s not hard to imagine that if one party is set on whom they will nominate for a given office, that they could have their members vote in the other party’s primary for a weaker candidate in order to increase the odds of their own party’s candidate being elected.
John did have a point regarding publicly funded primaries. Since political parties are not public entities, they should not receive public funding. Let each party pay for their own primary. Smaller parties don’t receive public funding for their primaries. Why should the major parties receive public funding, especially in a state where independent voters are more numerous than either major party?
Chris Bolton, Meridian