Joe Matthews argues that getting rid of top-two primaries is the best way to “reverse one-party rule in California.” It is this party-centric view of the world that, while accepted by the political class, is increasingly rejected by voters.

In a traditional primary, parties elect nominees. Their candidates get special treatment. Their voters get more voice.In a nonpartisan primary, voters elect nominees. Everyone — including candidates, parties, and voters — is treated the same.Primaries are also funded by taxpayers and administered by public officials.

The downfall of the Republican Party in California started well before 2010, when the voters approved the nonpartisan top-two primary. The party is declining more rapidly because they continue to campaign to the members of their party, instead of voters. With their considerable decline in party membership, this is not smart.

Democrats are, in a red and blue world, an un-intended beneficiary of the Republican Party’s failure to appeal to a large number of voters. Nevertheless, party-endorsed Democrats lose about two-thirds of the elections that have been Democrat-on-Democrat races.

In a world that is not so red and blue, some might characterize this as a victory for voters, and an opportunity for the Republican Party to develop a smarter statewide strategy.

Given the Republican Party’s track-record of failure, going back to the old system of subsidized party primaries would be unfair to voters, and a blow to democracy.

We could, however, continue to improve our election system for the voter. We could move the top four candidates into the general election in statewide races and give independent voters a chance to nominate a presidential candidate for the presidential primary.

That’s why the Republicans and other parties should focus their energies on appealing to voters. They’ll be doing themselves a favor. They also will be serving democracy.