When Gov. Edwin Edwards opened the primary system for elections in Louisiana, the reason was clear. That was, to ensure that a plurality of those elected were Democrats. From that time, the success of that action has been relatively successful. However, with the changing face of the political landscape in this state and the turning of the state to conservative red, the open primary system has allowed for the liberal base that is often being shunned to have a say in elections. For this reason, when having a primary election, both Democrats and Republicans should be allowed to pick their own candidate.
The people in this state have been more conservative, but due to political expediency, legislators have changed parties, but not ideology, in order to show themselves aligned with the conservative nature of the state. By closing the system, each party can choose the candidate that most represents their values and beliefs without it being infected by outside interests and by charlatans posing themselves as conservatives, as in the Republican Party. A closed primary system allows the cream of the crop to rise to the top and allows the best candidate to be the party choice during a general election. By not doing so, you get, in the instance of the Republican Party, RINOs who were elected with the benefit of Democratic voters in an open election. A certain elected official from this area that is “representing” us in D.C. comes to mind.
I urge the state to take up legislation that would close the primary system in the upcoming session. Let’s get back to having each party have a fair say in elections and have those candidates face off in a general election.
Christopher J. Gary
safety, health and environmental coordinator