What’s your opinion on the appropriateness of open primaries?
Personally, I do not like them. I believe they should be eliminated.
Bottom line: Primaries should be for the party to decide who it’s representative will be in the general election. The party, which is made up of members and others who have chosen to identify with, and affiliate themselves with, said party. People who identify as Democrat should have no say in who the Republican general election candidate is (and visa versa). If open primaries are legit, then why can’t a citizen of Idaho vote in the Texas Senate race? They can’t because it’s not legit, and neither are open primaries. A Texas Senator does not represent an Idaho citizen. If the Republican/Democrat party does not represent you, then you should accept having no say in the matter. Primaries are about parties, not individual candidates.
People who choose to be independent and/or “no party”, as I have chosen for roughly 20 years now, should be held to their choice and should be shut out of any party’s primary. I accept the consequences of my choice, and when I weigh the pros and cons of being “no party”, losing access to primaries is an acceptable trade-off to me.
And people who consciously choose a specific party especially should not be able to influence another party’s selection process. It is incomprehensible to me that anyone can be Party X then somehow expect that they should have a say in Party Y’s selection process. How does that thought process work?
This is a lesser factor in my mind, and I cannot read minds so I cannot prove it, but I suspect that most people who cross party lines and vote in another primary are doing so for dishonest reasons. Not to support someone they like, but rather to either support a weak candidate so their party candidate can win in the general election, or to vote against a strong but distasteful candidate. This point is more for people who identify with a particular party, not so much independents.
*IF* we simply must have open primaries, then the parties should be completely removed from the process. No setting rules regarding vote and/or delegate counting, or anything else. It is clearly no longer the party’s people deciding, it’s just a bunch of candidates grouped-together according to letter (R or D, etc.), hence it should be run by the state election commission and be neutral and equal for all parties.
Key concept throughout all of this: Choice. Make your choice then live according to your choice. If you change your mind, that’s fine, but then change your choice on the registration. In this aspect, I also think it’s indicative of another factor that permeates our society overall… lack of personal accountability or responsibility. Sounds counter-intuitive given the voting topic, but hear me out. More and more people in our society want to have all the choices of the world laid out at their feet, but they also want zero of the consequences, such as in this case where they might actually have to make a choice and as a result shut themselves out of another choice. People are forgetting exactly what a choice is.