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Closed New York Primary Helps Democratic Party Maintain Status Quo


Closed New York Primary Helps Democratic Party Maintain Status Quo

Kevin Gosztola

At least 126,000 voters in Brooklyn, New York, were purged from voter rolls. The purge seems to be a symptom of the state’s “closed primary” system, which forces voters to affiliate with a political party to vote. Yet, the disenfranchisement of so many voters in Brooklyn and in other parts of the state ahead of the primary on April 19 has most Democrats excusing what should be considered voter suppression.


This is why Bernie should run as an independent, if necessary. The duopoly must be crushed.


If we had a multi-party proportional system of representation, I might buy into this closed primary business, but as things stand, the two party system has created a patchwork of 50 non-standard ballot and election laws for the different states. If the goal is to decrease participation in our government, then the two parties have done a damn fine job, as the ever increasing number of voters stay away from the ballot box in droves every passing Election Day. And we can never forget that the Electoral College are the actual electors of our president--not the people. On occasion the Supreme Court makes the decision for us. This system is rigged. Couple it with the rigged campaign finance system and we have corruption writ large. It is beyond stupendous that Bernie made it this far considering the sewer he is slogging through. And it is about as anti-democratic as it can get to close primaries for the presidency, the only office in the land which impacts every voter.


If a closed primary were an attempt to maintain the status quo then all states would have them. In fact, many states have open primaries and many don't have primaries but have caucuses, some are open and some are closed. Of course these are political parties and can adopt any type of rules they want. The selection of the nominee is much more democratic then it was many years ago, with voters now mainly choosing the nominee.


The solution seems pretty straightforward to me, like any organization, if voters or anyone else wants a say in an party's direction, they need to be members.

The voter purge and the closed primary system have nothing to do with each other. NY county electoral boards are notoriously incompetent to a criminal degree. For example, in order to comply with the federal motor-voter law, every time a driver submits a driver license change-of-address, someone "in the back" actually fills out a registration form for the voter, and because there is no place in the DMV process to specify a party affiliation, checks the box of whatever party affiliation the worker feels like ("Republican" is the first box at the top) and forges the voters signature.


I'm not trying to be critical here. I see what you are saying. I'm just sort of musing my way through the issue. How long would some one need to be a member of a party in order to vote in that party's primary? Is that up to the whim of each individual party committee of each state? It seems to me that the whole idea behind being an independent (which really isn't a party in the traditional sense, I don't think) is to be on the outside of both parties looking in and waiting to see which party fields a candidate more in line with your values. In that case, wouldn't just voting for the candidate of the party in question make you a member of that party... at least for the time being? Is it OK to switch parties? Ever? Should an independent be able to vote dem or repub in the general election? Maybe that's the accepted role of the independent. To stay on the sidelines until the general election and vote for your preferred choice at that time after the real party members have decided who the candidates are. Our election system seems to make voting as difficult and confusing as possible. Maybe we shouldn't have parties at all. Just candidates. How would that work? Has it been tried in a large nation? Could we have a system that makes it easier for third (or fourth or fifth) parties to run a candidate? I really don't like the way we do things now.


I totally agree. He needs to switch to an Independent because the Corporate Party has NO INTENTION of letting the people's will prevail in this election (or any election lately).


You might find "The Idea of a Party System, The Rise of Legitimate Opposition in the United States, 1780-1840' by Richard Hofstadter worth reading. Those who drew up the U. S. Constitution made no provision for party, they thought "factions" were pernicious and elites would, through comity, settle all disputes. Not. Almost immediately it became apparent there was already two divisions, Jeffersonian Democrat-Republicans and Federalists.

What would be accomplished if the Green Party or the Socialist Party, or any party, allowed people, not at all sympathetic to its platform and vision, to have a say as to who should be its leaders? Independents come in many stripes.


The level of corruption in both parties is so thick, you couldn't cut through it with a buzzsaw. Both parties have demonstrated an utter lack of consideration for the voter by selecting candidates most us wouldn't vote to be dog-catchers. Both parties have colluded to make these arcane ballot, election laws, and party rules, then collude to keep many voters from voting for the one elected office we all share. When there are more registered independents in every state than are Democrats or Republicans, and when the office in question is the presidency, everybody should have their say in the nomination process.

When there are multiple parties representing myriad ideologies, a case could be made for closed primaries, but until then, the two parties will continue to steal our democracy out from under us, as they no longer represent the interests of the people, only their big donors (and we know who they are).


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I've lived in New York for years and have no problem with the closed primary. It seems to me that a party's candidates should be chosen by people who have made at least a minimal commitment to that party. In most cases, candidates for congress or state legislature around here are chosen by party activists who have made an even greater commitment and I don't have a problem with that either. This process sometimes even produces a fairly rational Republican candidate for state or local office - in contrast to many states.


Parties are not supposed to be about elevating the political fortunes of individuals. One is not supposed to look at political parties as things that put up this or that individual, or as some unrealistically view it, a "savior" for an election to political office. This is the USAn political cult of the individual. The role of a political party is to be a non-governmental organization that works to gain collective power for a specific ideological program in a government. Do you know that in parliamentary systems like Canada or the UK, a political party's parliament members are required, under penalty of getting kicked out, to vote as a solid bloc on all parliamentary measures as directed by the party leadership (PM if the party has a majority), unless the leader calls a "free vote"? In such places, everything is about the party, not individuals, ands so the focus can be put on what measures for specific issues the party should promote. Frankly I think such a system works much better and follows the principle of unity and solidarity that should be important to the left.

So, I suspect that people from other countries find this USAn political concept of being an "independent" to be confusing. To them it just sounds like an excuse to be apathetical or wishy washy - and it sounds like that to me too. I am not "independent" I am a libertarian socialist - but because there is no such check box for "socialist" in my state, I have typically been registered as a Green and signature-collected for green candidates. If I lived in some other states like New Jersey, I'd register in the SP-USA. Because the Democratic primary for mayor and some other local races often end up being the de-facto general election in my Democrat city, I will strategically switch to Democrat ahead of some of these primaries, then switch back - as I did for the coming primary. But would I ever consider myself an "independent"? Never.


Earlier, on NPR's Diane Rheme's show, the guests treated Mrs. Clinton's victory as an inevitability. There was only mild mention of the voter (fraud!) discrepancies. The tone was so deferential to the existing status quo... and it also chastised Sanders for how "he made Hillary look." The subtext was that she is the anointed-to-be queen and ANYONE who dare challenge her deserves to be penalized.

It's precisely this type of rhetoric that convinces some otherwise intelligent people that Mr. Sanders is a lost cause.

The interview harped on Mr. Sanders' purported attacks on Hillary without the slightest mention of her policy positions (and source of her campaign contributions) or the FACT that every item that Mr. Sanders has challenged is ON THE RECORD.

This is how the MSM turns truth telling (and anyone who dares to speak those Truths that are not endorsed by official memes and narratives) into an unforgiveable fault.


You may not have noticed but 'labels' like party affiliation are the major factor in who gets into office.

But yeah, that hasn't been working out well.



If this comment could be condensed, it should then be BRANDED onto the forehead of posters like "andrew boston."


Taking the following into account, a composite is created that is 100% related to corruption:

  1. The Media's Talking Heads stay on point in a consensus that Hillary has "the math," and thus Sanders has NO chance.
  2. The closed primary pushing aside the TIDE of independents who no doubt would have gone to Sanders in high percentages, and tipped the numbers AWAY from Hillary.
  3. The voting anomalies--again. (I said N.Y. would be for Hillary what Florida was for Bush, and that "prophecy" seems to have come to pass.) They only KNOW about the 125,000 voters pushed off the rolls in Brooklyn... one of NYC's 5 burroughs.

The discussion on NPR really played down all the discrepancies and only emphasized that Hillary had the numbers and that it would thus be impossible for Sanders to win.

New York's primary is a total FRAUD and it should not be allowed to sit as credible and thus ROB the nation's voters of the chance for an option to RULE by American Dynasty: A Clinton OR a Bush.


Like LRX, you're transparent as a status quo advocate AND Hillary ass-kisser.


In NH the designation used is undeclared. That describes the way I feel about having two tepid choices. The state makes it easy to go back and forth in primary elections. They don't make it easy to run as a third party. We're collecting petition signatures for Jill Stein as I write this. We have to go through that process each and every election.


Wow! What you BRAND as "unity" and "solidarity" is just lockstep conformity... that, in and of itself, is a BANE to progress and thus works to thwart genuinely Progressive values, a staple of the Left.

And speaking further of brands, it seems to me that Libertarian and Socialist represent opposite sides of the spectrum. The Libertarian wants NO Government or regulation and the Socialist requires government to set up communal bases for sharing significant (collectively owned) assets.

Libertarian-Socialist... sounds like an oxymoron.


I second that...he could have run independent to start with. This "Party" stuff is getting rediculous if you ask me. Seems the "Party" people care more about that than electing the best candidate. All these rule that basiclly rig everything need to GO!! Pretty soon they'll have a little symbol...you know like the one that one "Party" had.