Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Primary day

Hello on the evening of Nebraska's Democratic and Republican primaries.  And aren't they exciting, with Pres. Obama being unopposed and Gov. Romney running against noone who's still running.  But that's nothing of note.

What's irritated me for a while - and increasingly so - is that primaries are state funded.  Why is this so?  They are purely political functions; they are a mechanism for national (and state and local) political committees to choose who will represent them in the general election.  While personally I appreciate being able to vote for this, I don't understand why my tax dollars are being spent on this.  Each party could put candidates names on pieces of paper and whichever one gets eaten my a donkey or elephant last could be the winner.  What I mean is, how each party determines who will represent them is their own decision.

Further, why does the state have to spend tax-dollars on this process?  I'm not sure how much it costs to hold today's election, but on one side there was an unopposed race and on the other there was a race with only one candidate still running.  Yes, I know the down ballot issues are important, but the only one people really care about was essentially meaningless.

I hate to sound crotchety and say "and another thing," but, my other problem with this involves registering my party affiliation with the state.  Why's it any of their business?  I know that who votes is public record, but why is my party affiliation?  And more importantly, why do I have to tell the state?  How can they tell me I can't vote in either primary?  Can they make other decisions based on my affiliation?  Tax rates?  Unemployment benefits?  Hiring or firing?  Timeliness of EMTs or garbage collection?  I know (well, hope) these decisions aren't being effected by it (and trust in the courts to protect that), but would rather not be required to register my political decisions with the state.

I hope everybody in Arkansas, Kentucky, Texas, California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Utah find their primaries more meaningful than I did.  But it's not likely.

Edit: I forgot the last part of my rant.
I have no problem with the state holding elections that are used for primaries.  There are several (mostly unopposed, entirely unimportant) non-partisan elections.  So since the state's already going through the expense of the election, if a party chooses to use it to select their representatives, they can feel free to.
For a fee.
This isn't just a gimmick to help the states balance the budget.  These elections are expensive and are  primarily for the parties' purpose, so let's make them pay for at least part of the expense.  Otherwise privatize the whole partisan part of the election and make each party hold and pay for their own.

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