Only days ago, California voters approved Proposition 14. It allows primary voters to choose the candidate of their choice from any party. But already, the state’s top GOP official and one of Washington’s most powerful Democrats say the measure will force more cooperation between Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says the closed primary system pushes candidates further to the right and the left, even as voters remain in the middle. He maintains that allowing Democrats and Republicans to cross over and choose moderate candidates will make it easier for lawmakers to get things done.
He says, "this is why we have to continue pushing to make sure that both of the parties can come together and compromise and not to create a system where compromise gets punished and people getting stuck in their ideological corners gets rewarded."
L.A. Democrat Henry Waxman, head of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, agrees. He says Prop 14 reminds Republicans that voters want movement on issues — like more Medicaid money for California — and that voters will punish them on Election Day for just saying “no.”