Radio Times

Are open primaries the answer to political polarization?

July 25, 2014

Guests: John Mark Hansen, Tim Potts, David McCuan

Senate Democrat, Chuck Schumer of New York recently wrote an op-ed for the New York Times in which he proposed an open primary system, in which party affiliation is not a prerequisite for voting for political candidates, as a solution to the increasing polarization taking place in the US Congress and across the country’s political landscape.  In his column, Schumer pointed to California’s relatively recent primary reformation as a model for the “top two” system that empowers candidates with more moderate platforms.  Today, we’ll discuss the origin of political primaries with University of Chicago professor of political science, JOHN MARK HANSEN, the potential for that type of reform in Pennsylvania with former president of Pennsylvania Democracy Rising, TIM POTTS, and how it’s been working in California, with DAVID McCUAN, professor of political science at Sonoma State University.

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