The Pacific Green Party today announced that its state convention has
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For Immediate Release
Pacific Green Party Calls for Defeat of "Dangerous and Deceitful" Top Two Primary Proposal
The Pacific Green Party today announced that its state convention has called for a NO vote on the "Top Two" ballot measure.
Pacific Green Party member Blair Bobier, a lawyer and elections expert, said that: "The Top Two ballot measure is a dangerous and deceitful proposal which will severely restrict the rights of all Oregon voters in the November election.
"Top Two has been a complete failure in California," said Bobier. "Using Top Two, California just suffered through the lowest voter turnout election in its history. And, after using Top Two for two election cycles, the California legislature remains the most politically polarized in the nation. Clearly, the claims by Top Two supporters--that it will increase voter turnout and reduce polarization--are entirely bogus."
In California and Washington, which have both adopted Top Two systems, minor parties are disappearing and major party polarization continues unabated. In both states, independent parties like the Green Party are struggling to survive.
"This ballot measure is designed to silence the voice of independent political parties and their members by eliminating them from General Election races. Top Two would force General Election voters to choose between only two candidates, both from the major political parties, while eliminating all other independent choices," said Seth Woolley, a Portland activist and two-time Green Party candidate for Secretary of State.
By being able to field candidates for General Election races, the Pacific Green Party has offered a choice to the growing number of voters who are frustrated with the major parties. In contrast to either of the major parties, the Pacific Green Party supports a withdrawal of all troops and military contractors from Iraq and Afghanistan, an end to the assault on
Gaza, and the end of Cannabis prohibition. We believe that voters should be able to choose the voice that matches their values, and silencing those voices would be a major disservice.
In addition, said Woolley, "the Top Two proposal is so poorly-written that most minor parties in Oregon may end up with no way to retain their legal status as political parties." Under the Top Two proposal, parties will no longer nominate candidates for office -- they would only make "endorsements." But, in order to maintain legal status in Oregon and retain the right to place candidates on the ballot, minor parties must have a nominee of the party receive 1% or more of the vote in a General Election. Because mere "endorsements" do not carry the same legal weight as "nominations," minor political parties, such as the Pacific Green Party and the Libertarians, may be shut out of all elections entirely because of Top Two.
"Voting is the heart and soul of the democratic process," said Bobier. "Our elections and our voting rights are far too important to be left in the hands of inexperienced amateurs who want to recklessly, radically and irresponsibly change the way we vote."
The Pacific Green Party is opposed to the Top Two ballot measure and urges all Oregon voters to join us in voting NO, as they did in 2008, when Top Two failed by a two to one margin, despite major corporate support.
Pacific Green Party Spokespersons:
Blair Bobier, 503-559-6176, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pacific Green Party Office: 541-516-6059