Posted by Kellie Ryan on January 16, 2015 at 12:00 PM
Americans are dissatisfied with government leadership
Americans named "government leadership" as their top concern in Gallup's latest poll on problems facing the U.S. For the first time since Gallup began polling Americans on their biggest concerns in 2001, government — including President Barack Obama, the Republicans in Congress and general political conflict — led the list. The trend of dissatisfaction with our political system among Americans has been growing since 2012. It's time we did something about it.
If we are to change the way our elected officials work for the American people, we must change how they are elected. In many partisan states, members of congress are elected in the primary, because the candidate for that party almost always wins the general election. This means most of our current members of congress were elected by a very small percentage of partisan voters who were allowed to and showed up to vote in the primary election.
What can we do about this?
Allow independent voters to have a say in the primary! Move partisan primary elections to a Top Two nonpartisan primary where all candidates compete on a single ballot and the top two vote getters regardless of party move on to the general election. We need to stop electing candidates based on party and start voting for the individual who will work on behalf of the American people. A Top Two nonpartisan primary forces candidates to appeal to a broader base and encourages all voters to participate in the increasingly important primary elections.
More importantly, our current system punishes voters who wish to remain independent by locking them out of the primary elections — elections being paid for using their tax dollars. Changing the primary system will not solve all the problems with the American political system but giving access and a voice to the most Americans by opening up the primary elections is a good start. Subscribe to the Open Primaries email list to stay up to date on what we are doing to enact this necessary reform.