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Truthdig Carries Ellen Brown’s Analysis of California’s Top-Two System

Truthdig has this analysis of California’s top-two system, written by Ellen Brown, the Green Party candidate for State Treasurer of California this year. Truthdig is nine years old and has won many awards for journalism excellence. UPDATE: the article is now on Huffington Post. FURTHER UPDATE: the article is also now in Peoples Voice.

4 Responses

  1. Tom Yager

    Maybe we’ll finally stop hearing about how good Top Two is for third parties. I’m not optimistic, but I can at least hope.

  2. George Knightley

    I imagine that will stop late this year when third parties start to loose ballot access.

  3. Jim Riley

    Ellen Brown claims, “[i]n the June 3rd California primary, the highest number of votes received by any third party or independent candidate was 218,847, representing 6.4% of voters.
    That count went to me.”

    This is an error. Dan Schnur received 9.2% of the vote for Secretary of State, almost 50% more than Ellen Brown.

    The cost of a candidate statement in the voter’s pamphlet was not changed by Proposition 14, or SB 6, and is not even set by statute. The Secretary of State sets the fee for the statewide candidates. Each county sets the fee for legislative and congressional candidates.

    The in lieu of petition is the same as for candidates for non-partisan offices. For example, Dan Hamburg had to pay a filing fee of $612, or collect 1056 signatures, which is 64% of the votes he received in the elections, and that was to run for supervisor in one corner of a small rural county in Northern California. This is roughly the same that it cost him in 2010.

    Ray Allmond could not collect the in liee of signatures when he ran for Secretary of State in 2010 and was forced to run as a write-in candidate. In 2014, he went ahead an paid the filing fee, and received about the same number of votes as Ellen Brown herself.

    Before, candidates for the minor parties could provide a free dinner for party members, put out a jar for donations, tell the diners that the in lieu of petition was available for signing, and come out way ahead of paying the filing fee, Major party candidates would be better of collecting cans and bottles than trying to collect signatures.

    In 1850, the government did not print ballots. If the Green Party were to run, they would have had to print their own ballots and convince (or pay) voters to use them, or convince voters to make their own ballot papers. Does Ellen Brown want a return to that system?

    Ellen Brown confuses a Borda count with Instant Runoff Voting. Borda count was used successfully in San Francisco.

    Only one ‘o’ in propaganda.

    • The top two system would work good if there was a three-way tie among the two established parties and independents (and third parties) worked together to approach closer to 33.33% plus two votes.

      Though the 60-day election time frame was short, had Ellen Brown and/or any Green Party (or others?) candidates decided to start working across party lines to get voters to support a multi-party team, then maybe the voters could have organized behind them and there would be more free publicity at forums (and the press?) too.

      I called Ellen myself and spoke to her several times about such a project and it worked far better this year than 2010 and better than 2012.

      In 2012 there was a “modified open primary”, although I’m not sure of the exact term, the idea is that voters could vote for any candidate regardless of party in 2014.

      So my observation is that the candidates were not wanting to work together when they were invited. So how can they complain when they had the chance but declined?

      That was rather odd since there was only three candidates for Treasurer, and our team didn’t have a person on the team for that seat, so it seems like some teamwork and unity should have been perceived as a good thing to get her even more votes.

      Oh well, there’s always 2018. Maybe more candidates be open to teamwork by then? One thing is for certain, in politics you can’t drag your feet and be indecisive, and every day is critical.

      I like what we did as the “Coalition of Seven” because it was a coordinated effort across party lines and a good way for the candidates to reach out to voters outside their own party/category.

      See the “Coalition of Seven” marked eballots for electing the team here:
      http://usparliament.org/ca-2014b.php

      You can also see some of the candidates’ statements about this year’s project in the bottom navigation bar at:
      http://www.allpartysystem.tv

      Spread the word, the 9th USA Parliament has the juice and unity is the juice.

      We have five national 1000-member super-state parliament elections underway through August 5th which elect a five-member executive (three prime ministers and two secretaries) and we’re always attracting more and more team players.

      Won’t you join us?

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