BF2. Fix the Two-Party System

Open Primaries

We need to mandate open primaries for all federal offices (president, vice president, and both chambers of Congress). Any eligible candidate may compete in any open primary, subject to state rules for qualifying for the ballot. Open primaries are non-partisan, although the ballot may indicate the party affiliation of each candidate. All registered voters are eligible to vote in every primary for every office within the jurisdiction where they legally reside.

Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) rules apply to all primaries. The only way to appear on the general election ballot is to earn sufficient support in the primary to qualify for the general election.

For primaries in elections for a single seat in Congress, the number of successful candidates is three. For primaries in elections for multiple seats, the number of successful candidates is double the number of seats being contested.

See Section 2.3 for the primary rules for the offices of president and vice president.

Party Caucuses and Conventions

Political parties may continue to hold elections for party offices, and they may hold caucuses and conventions at any level at their own expense. Such activities are completely independent from the public primary elections. Endorsement by a political party helps a candidate raise money and enlist volunteers for a campaign, but that endorsement gains nothing with respect to the primary election itself. Candidates must still qualify to appear on the primary ballot according to the rules of each state, and they must survive the primary to compete in the general election.

All Other Laws, Regulations, and Practices

Statutes and regulations should not mention political parties. Period. Regulations that pertain to benevolent associations of any kind should apply equally to political parties.

The objective here is not to end political parties. As mentioned earlier, political parties can be quite useful in a democracy. Rather, the objective is to remove the legal impediments which inhibit the growth of new parties and which discourage unconventional candidates from running for office.

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