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Saturday, November 01, 2003

Bloomberg Proposes Non-Partisan Elections
New York's Democrat-turned-Republican mayor is pushing (even funding) a proposal to replace party primaries with a two-tiered election scheme: A September primary open to all candidates, with the top two vote-getters facing off in the November election. The NY Times discusses the history of the party system (mostly Democratic) in New York, but doesn't bother to mention what races would be affected. I'm guessing that mayoral, city council, and maybe some other city-wide elected posts would fall under this; the city probably doesn't have jurisdiction over state legislature or US congressional elections.

This may just be an attempt by Bloomberg to dismantle the powerful Democratic party apparatus in New York, but in theory it seems like a big step in the right direction. If they would incorporate instant runoff voting in the September primary it would bring the city much closer to true representative government. I can certainly see the chance for abuse in the way it is currently described: two well-funded Republicans (Bloomberg and Giuliani, say) could claim the top two spots in the primary, guaranteeing a Republican victory.