Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)
Boy does California ever need a robust, wide-ranging debate about the future of the state, and the future of governance. And so you might think that the 2018 governor’s race, with the incumbent termed out, would be just the opportunity for such a debate.
But there’s no chance of such a debate. Top two will keep the conversation narrow.
California’s top two system (I don’t call it a primary, even though the state does, because top two eliminates primaries) has many faults. In 2018, we’ll experience how, in the names of expanding choices, it eliminates our choices.
All the candidates of all parties are on the ballot in the first round of balloting. That is supposed to encourage moderation and spur turnout and give voters more choices, but it does the opposite of those things.