Primary reform has weakened parties

An open GOP Primary, as discussed in the editorial, "Open primaries would benefit state GOP," (Aug.18), is a bad idea, because it enables those committed to a GOP defeat in November to vote for the most unqualified and least electable candidate.

Such political vandalism is anti-democratic. It defeats the purpose of the primary process and promotes the nomination of fringe, extremist candidates.

Since their advent in the 1970s, government subsidized and regulated primaries, both open and closed, have impeded our parties from nominating the most able and electable candidates based on a pre-established platform. With their traditional function diminished, the two parties have become caucuses rather than the coherent organizations they once were. The selection of political novice and wrestling mogul, Linda McMahon, over a superbly qualified former congressman, Rob Simmons, in the 2010 U.S. Senate Primary is a case in point.

Perhaps the era of convention-style, laissez faire politics wasn't so bad. At least the political season was only four months and elected officials, with no need to perpetually fundraise for primary challenges, could focus on the job of crafting constructive legislation, which is in the best long term interest of our nation.

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