Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 13, 2010/ 1 Tamuz 5770

Proposition for political blandness

By George Will



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Under the current imperfect administration of the Universe, most new ideas are false, so most ideas for improvements make matters worse. Given California's parlous condition, making matters worse there requires ingenuity, but voters managed to do so last Tuesday.

Actually, 8.9 percent of eligible voters did. By a margin of 54.2 percent to 45.8 percent, they passed Proposition 14, the Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act. Proponents outspent opponents 20 to 1. Of the approximately $4.6 million spent promoting the measure, $2 million came from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's political committee. He seems to consider this reform his defining achievement, which, in a sense, it is. The percentage of Californians who today approve of Schwarzenegger is a number beginning with 2. But now California has adopted a candidate selection process that is intended to nominate candidates like him.

Proposition 14 is an attempt to change government policies by changing the political process. Henceforth, in primary elections that select candidates for most state and federal offices -- including almost one-eighth of the U.S. House of Representatives -- all voters, regardless of party registration, or those who have "decline to state" status (no party identification -- 20.2 percent of Californians), will receive the same ballot. All candidates for a particular office will be listed, regardless of party affiliation, if any, which they may choose to state, or not. The two receiving the most votes will be on November ballots, regardless of the desires of the political parties the nominees may claim to represent.


FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER

Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.


Proposition 14's purpose is to weaken and marginalize parties, traditionally the principal vehicles for voter education and mobilization. It would strip them of their core function of selecting candidates who represent the preferences of their members. It infringes the First Amendment protection of freedom of association, which includes the right of parties not to associate with candidates they do not select.

Supporters of "top two" primaries think parties are too representative -- too responsive to their "ideological" members. These are usually the parties' most interested, informed and active members. But such people are, say Proposition 14 supporters, tiresome because they are not congenial centrists. Being "partisan," they do not practice the bipartisanship that enables government to "get things done." Among California "centrists," getting things done usually means raising taxes to pay for other things government has done.

In areas where Democrats or Republicans dominate -- there are more and more of them as the nation increasingly sorts itself out into clusters of the like-minded -- the November ballots will offer voters a choice of two Democrats or two Republicans. Voters with sensitive political palates can savor faintly variant flavors of liberalism or conservatism.

Voters who prefer their political menu seasoned with the spices provided by minor parties are pretty much out of luck. Under Proposition 14, such parties -- Green, Libertarian, etc. -- which previously could place candidates on November ballots, will almost always be excluded from those by failing to run first or second in primaries.

But, then, blandness is the point of this reform. It seeks to generate a homogenized political class, one not lumpy with liberals and conservatives who, being conviction politicians, do not always play well with others.

Does America need a cure for "partisanship," the supposed disease of leaders such as Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson at the birth of America's party system? Does America need a nominating process that narrows choices by stacking the deck against minor parties? Does it need a process that produces "pragmatic" candidates who, because they have no ballast of "ideology," a.k.a ideas, and are not rendered "rigid" by convictions, can "reach across the aisle" to achieve compromises congenial to the entire political class? Does America need a nominating process that, suppressing candid partisanship, will tempt stealthy partisans to game the system by voting a weak candidate into the top two?

Putting Proposition 14 on the ballot was the price paid for the vote of Abel Maldonado. He was a Republican state senator last year when three Republican votes were needed to enable Democrats to pass another tax increase that supposedly would solve the budget crisis that preceded the current one. Maldonado also was rewarded by Schwarzenegger, who made him lieutenant governor.

Maldonado plays nicely with others. He is not rigidly ideological: He worked across the aisle to reach a compromise that gave the political class access to more of other people's money. He, like his patron, the governor, is, presumably, pretty much the sort of pragmatist Proposition 14 is designed to favor.


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.

Archives

© 2006 WPWG

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles