Supporter Spotlight: Why I Support Open Primaries - Open Primaries Arizona
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Supporter Spotlight: Why I Support Open Primaries

Posted by Patrick McWhortor on October 14, 2015 at 8:42 PM

BellCurve2.pngI once read a book called “Getting to Yes.” Its premise was that if one enters a negotiation with the idea that there must be a winner and a loser, the reality is nobody wins. Now, consider the bell curve. The ends are quite small, the center much larger. In life, the ends represent ideological extremes, while the majority fall somewhere in the center of the curve.

In today’s partisan politics, it is those at either end of the bell curve – those who still negotiate with the winner-loser mentality who are making policy – and we are all losers in the end.

Today’s primary election system supports the nomination of those at the far ends of each political spectrum. But the concept of a third party is equally unbeneficial because all it does it pull votes away from mainstream candidates, thereby increasing the likelihood of electing someone on one far end or the other.

It is my opinion that this is how we got into the mess we are in today. No one is looking for real solutions, only a party win. The Open Primaries concept solves that problem. The top two candidates, regardless of party, run against each other and everyone gets to vote. Candidates will have to appeal to the majority of voters, somewhere in the heart of the bell curve.

There is no magical thinking here – the challenges we face are countless. But, moderation might lead to legitimate discussion which might actually get us to genuine solutions.

I am committed to engaging the citizens of Flagstaff to join the Open Primaries movement and put citizens in the driver’s seat of politics, instead of parties.



Jean Richmond-Bowman is part of our coalition leadership team in Flagstaff. She is President of Toltec Strategies and Northern Arizona Fetal Alcohol Center for Education and Support (Northern Arizona FACES). She is very active in Flagstaff civic affairs.