Opinion | Let all voices be heard in primary elections

We have covered four protests in recent days. While there are a lot of slogans and chants, one very clear one is the plea to be heard.

During yesterday’s protest that ended at the Conshohocken Police Department. This protest had several students from Plymouth Whitemarsh High School involved. All the protests have had young people participate, but this one stood out in particular.

The Mayor of Conshohocken Yaniv Aronson spoke and to paraphrase he said some like that he saw a lot of potential in the crowd for future politicians.

Ok, but the political parties make it very difficult for a variety of voices to be heard when it comes to an election.

Political parties do not encourage open primaries. They make every effort to avoid them. Candidates favored by the party establishments are endorsed and given the benefits of the party’s money and organization.

Now to be fair, this isn’t so much a problem with local Republicans because the party has an issue of being able to field a full slate of candidates. Republicans are lucky when they have one candidate for every slot in an election. For example, Republicans did not field a candidate for the borough council seat for Ward 3 in Conshohocken in 2019. The party came very close to not having a candidate for two seats.

This is a much bigger problem within the local Democratic Party. People who want to run are routinely discouraged. If you don’t believe me, just think back and try to remember when you have had real choices in a primary in Conshohocken, West Conshohocken, Plymouth Township, and Whitemarsh Township. There is a reason for that.

So what can be done? It is pretty simple.

The local political committees, Republican and Democrat, should commit publicly to not endorse candidates in the primary process. This could include not giving any money to primary candidates or giving everyone the same amount. Either way works.

Let every voice be heard through open primaries.

Don’t let the party hacks decide whose voice should be heard.

Let us know what you think in the comments.