Not too long ago I celebrated my 89th birthday. I have decided that I will claim and exercise the prerogatives of old age, particularly the right to grump and kvetch about things that displease me. One think that displeases me is the current primary race in the Republican Party. The whole purpose of the reform that led to primary elections rather than party conventions was to provide an open, democratic, honest, and effective way to choose the Nation's Chief Executive.
So, what do we have this year? At present we have three candidates running around from State to State, campaigning for votes in the various primary elections. Do the candidates talk about what they will do if elected President? No. They talk about what a miserable, useless fellow the present incumbent is. Each one talks about what a liar each of his opponents in the present primary race is. From other things each candidate does or doesn't say, I conclude that, if elected, he would try to:
- Abolish the new health care law
- Abolish recent regulations on speculation by banks
- Make war on Iran
- Reduce taxes on wealthy individuals
- Force women to use dangerous methods to obtain abortions
- Encourage the exporting of American jobs to improve the bottom lines of American businesses
- Oppose fair treatment of homosexual couples
Etc., etc., etc.
I assert that the primary system for selecting Presidential nominees is a failure. I advocate getting rid of it and combining the Primary and General elections with a single instant run-off election. Let all the candidates who can qualify by obtaining enough signatures or raising enough money or whatever run in the General Election in November. Voters would indicate their first, second, third, fourth, etc., choices. Counting would consist of repeatedly discarding the candidate with the fewest first-choice votes and distributing the other choices among the other candidates until one candidate has a majority.