Federal Court Refuses to Review 2005 Attack On Independent Candidates – Oregon

Federal Court Refuses to Review 2005 Attack On Independent Candidates – Oregon

Political parties did not exist in 1787; nor, are they mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. Despite this, the newly-created electorate rapidly fragmented.

By the time Oregon joined the Union, parties defined American political life. Chief among their tools: The right to decide who got the privilege of running for political office.

Hardly democratic.

Even a basic understanding of that term supports the notion that choosing the various candidates is at least as important as choosing the eventual winner.

In 1904, tired of the “Tweedledee-Tweedledum” general elections offered by the party bosses, Oregonians initiated the Direct Primary Law, allowing voters, not political conventions, to determine the nominees. The law also allowed electors to both vote in their party’s primary and sign the nominating petition of “any independent or nonpartisan candidate.”

After all, if my main concern is, say, the unhealthy influence of money on state and federal elections, and, if those at the top of my state party’s slate don’t share that focus, why shouldn’t I be allowed to help choose who represents me in the legislature, and, then throw my support behind an independent gubernatorial or Presidential candidate scared of dollars, too.

Or, what if the nominee dies before the general election and my neighbor is dissatisfied with the replacement chosen by her party’s central committee? Why shouldn’t she be free seek an independent candidate more in sync with her views?

If you run the parties, the answers are obvious – allowing individuals to stray from the reservation, as it were, reduces your power.

Exactly!

Since 1904, Oregon’s political parties have belonged to the voters; not, the other way around.

Unfortunately, the people who write the elections laws can’t claim the same independence. These legislators naturally support electoral machinery that guarantees their bloc’s success.

Unfortunately, for them,

2 thoughts on “Federal Court Refuses to Review 2005 Attack On Independent Candidates – Oregon”

  1. 2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Essential to Understanding “Independents”, October 27, 2007
    By 
    Aufklarung (New York) –

    This review is from: The Myth of the Independent Voter (Paperback)
    Excellent. Essential reading if you want to understand the “independent voter” phenomenon — what it is and what it isn’t, and who these voters really are. Carefully researched, serious scholarship.

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  2. 6 of 23 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    Boy, were these guys off kilter or what?, June 1, 2005
    By 
    Jason D. Olson (San Francisco, CA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: The Myth of the Independent Voter (Paperback)
    This book, published in June 1992 (five months before Ross Perot would rock the established political world by performing extremely well in the presidential debates and ultimately getting 20 million votes as an independent) could not have been more off if it tried.

    If ever there was a case to be made that you cannot predict the future by simply looking at past trends, this is it. Looking back, it seems that perhaps the authors were simply caught in a moment of hisotry where anything could (and did) happen – the fall of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War, and the beginning of the independent political movement sprouting from the seeds sown in the 70s and 80s.

    As the independent political movement grew into “third parties” in the 90s – particularly with the election of Jesse Ventura, the growth of the Reform Party, and ending with Ralph Nader’s 2000 Green Party Presidential Candidacy (during which independent voters were decisive in the outcome) – this book became more and more a testimony to the disconnection of the political elites (in particular those who wrote it) than any true compass on the impact of the independent voter on the American political scene.

    Since 2000, the independent movement has morphed again, moving from third party and independent candidate based efforts (often called “fringe”) to a movement much more focused on organizing and empowering the independent voter (particularly the unaffiliated independent voter) – now the fastest growing political force in America. The “big” names of yesteryear – Ross Perot, Jesse Ventura, and Ralph Nader have given way to the grassroots organizers who continue to build the independent movement – the Jaqueline Salit’s (editor of the Neo-Independent Magazine), Lenora Fulani’s (leader of the very influential and often attacked Independence Party of New York), and Matt Gonzalez’s (Independent and sometimes Green Party President of the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco).

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