The Blanket Primary in Louisiana is “unique primary system”. The Blanket Primary is also known as a “Jungle” Primary in Partisan elections. The reason it’s called a blanket primary is because the party affiliation is not mentioned on the ballot. The winner of the primary is the candidate who has the majority of the vote. If two candidates have the majority of the vote, they run against each other in a run off regardless of their party affiliation. In Louisiana, there is a possibility that a Republican can run against another Republican if two Republicans happen to have the majority of the vote. The blanket primary was established by Governor Edwin Edwards in the 1980’s. Governor Edwards was a Democrat.
He basically created the blanket policy because he wanted to give Democrats a chance to beat the Republicans in office by forcing them into the same election as the Libertarians, Democrats, and Independents. Tannahill believes that this was one of the main reasons that Edwards won four consecutive terms as governor. (Another possibility could be the aspect of retrospective voting.) I believe this was one of the reasons why voters kept Edwards in office regardless of his allegations for racketeering. Louisiana had a domineering Republican candidacy and without having the party affiliations on the ballot, voters were responsible for researching the background of the candidates since they could not see which party their favorite candidate was affiliated with.
The advantages of the blanket primary system in Louisiana include the fact that voter who usually vote for their affiliated party (regardless of the candidates experience or personal goals in office) , is now forced to research the candidates and find information about their views and objectives without the media trying to sway them. They are able to focus on the potential the candidates have as opposed to their support system. The blanket primary system also allows independents and libertarians to have a better chance than if they were running against mentioned Democrats and Republicans.
Disadvantages of the blanket primary include the fact that not all voters will search for information about the candidates. Some voters will vote for someone based on their name, the amount of signs they have seen for them, or in Edwards case (which I think this is the real reason why he was re-elected), voters became comfortable with him and since he hadn’t made any decisions that negatively affected the voters, they decided to keep him in office. It’s a similar theory of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” People are afraid of change. Most of the time, voters only change if they have to. In Obama’s case, he took advantage of that fact and turned the fears into hopes when he said “America need change. Now is the time.” Edwards also created a disadvantage to Republicans. Republicans were a strong party with a large group of supporters. When the blanket primary started, many undereducated voters who would vote Republican based on the fact that they like Republicans, did not know who was running for their party and if they didn’t educate themselves, would have to pick a candidate, not knowing which party they were voting for to be represented.
Personally, even though it was a disadvantage to Republicans, I feel it was an advantage to the state and will open more possibilities for a better future because now it opens up possibilities for Independents and Libertarians to get elected. As a voter who shares many Libertarian views, I believe that the two sided system is harming American and has American’s thinking in a closed minded way. The fact that American’s can even vote for all candidates in one party affiliation shows that they don’t care who is best for the job, they just want someone to represent the Country, State, or Community, that shares the same moral views as themselves. Citizens say all the time that we need to get out of debt, but they do not vote for the parties who have the strongest focus on lowering the National Debt and limiting government spending, instead they vote Republican because they don’t want gays to get married, or the vote Democrat because they agree that women should be able to get abortions and have more rights. A lot of times, these issues don’t even affect the voter personally, yet they hold these issues on high regard simply because of the hysteria we have created around them. I compare the 2 party affiliations with Diamonds. Diamonds are not rare. They are actually very common and are being mined in different countries outside of Africa. Why are they so expensive?
Because advertising agencies paid for by the Diamond distributors created such hype that now it is a tradition for American women to have a diamond wedding ring. In the past ten years, they start advertising “the left is from him, the right hand is for me” meaning women should buy a diamond ring for her right ring finger to show her strength and independence. Our opinions are molded by the media and politicians that hire speech writers that know how to work up a crowd. Republicans get all the conservative votes because conservative people believe gay marriage and abortion are against their beliefs, and fear their jobs will be taken by immigrants. Democrats get liberal votes because they preach freedom and equal rights, though they use that platform to distract people from their real interests which most people do not favor. Voting for a party based on a few ideals is ridiculous, and until American’s stop focusing on controlling the people around them and start focusing on themselves and their own actions, nothing is going to get better and America will keep sinking into debt. I believe that China is going take advantage of our flawed system and we will not be stable enough to handle it.
I would love to see Texas adopt a blanket primary system simply because I am biased and believe that Texas will never be anything but a Republican state unless we do something to “blindfold” people from the hype and force them to focus on the real serious, Nationwide life altering objectives such as funding, jobs, education, law enforcement, and the limiting power of government. I like the way that Texas is run as a state, but if a Democrat was elected and they started making changes to Texas the way Obama made changed to America’s health system, there would be an uproar and I could see the state recusing itself from the United Nations. I believe an Independent with the right strategy and experience could get Texas on track.