Presidential Race Shows Fallacy Of California’s Top Two Primary System

Michael Feinstein

Spokesperson, Green Party of California and Former Santa Monica Mayor and City Councilmember


If this year’s presidential race has demonstrated anything, it’s that large numbers of voters want a choice other than that offered by the Democratic and Republican parties. In our American democracy, do we deserve such choice? Or is it too ‘dangerous’ to leave choice up to the voters, so that we need to be ‘protected’ […]

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Why The Green Party Opposes Proposition 42

Michael Feinstein

Spokesperson, Green Party of California and Former Santa Monica Mayor and City Councilmember


Grassroots Democracy is one of the Key Values of the Green Party. We take transparency and access to information about one’s government very seriously. That is why Proposition 42 – sponsored by the state legislature – is so disappointing. Either democracy is taken seriously, or it is not. Proposition 42 would amend the state constitution to mandate […]

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AB1413 “Gut and Amend” Abuse Would Gut Voter Voice

Michael Feinstein

Spokesperson, Green Party of California and Former Santa Monica Mayor and City Councilmember


A bill about to be passed by the Legislature – AB 1413 – would rob us of our right to vote for write-in candidates, a right we’ve enjoyed and exercised since California statehood in 1850. With such a major change, one would assume it’s imminent passage is the culmination of a long public process, where […]

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Prop 14 is Bad for Smaller Parties, Bad for Democracy Overall

Michael Feinstein

Spokesperson, Green Party of California and Former Santa Monica Mayor and City Councilmember


The Green Party of California opposes Proposition 14 because it would reduce voter choice and political voice across political lines, while unfairly favoring incumbents, big money and party insiders.

By eliminating party primaries, expanding the number of voters that primary candidates have to reach and effectively front-loading the election process, Proposition 14 would put even greater emphasis on name recognition and early fundraising, increasing the corrupting influence of money and making it harder for competing candidates and movements to survive, let alone contend.

Because of pressure not to “split the primary vote” of their party’s faithful, incumbents and well-funded candidates would also be more able to “clear the field” and squeeze out competitors (like Schwarzenegger did during the recall), putting more power into the hands of party machines and insiders to, de facto, select general election candidates. As a result, Proposition 14 would stifle diversity and competition within the major parties and at the same time, limit the choices of independent voters who can already vote within the major party primaries.

Proposition 14’s backers are trying to sell this electoral scheme by promising it will deliver representatives of a particular political persuasion. Since when did the purpose of elections change from representing the people — whatever their views — to socially engineering a specific result?

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