CT: Secretary of State Launches Aggressive Propaganda Campaign Against Political Independence

Connecticut's primary elections are scheduled for August 10, 2010. If recent voter registration trends in the state hold, unaffiliated voters will soon outnumber registered Democrats and Republicans combined. They already constitute the largest bloc of registered voters. According to Pollster.com, as of late last year, independents accounted for 42.5% of registered voters in the state, with only 36.8% registered Democrat and 20% registered Republican. For the Democratic-Republican establishment and ruling political class, this represents a veritable crisis, precisely because it reveals that Democratic-Republican party government represents a crisis of democracy.

Connecticut has closed primaries. Thus, almost half of all registered voters will be ineligible to vote in the major party primaries, whose nominees will therefore be decided by a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of registered voters. The Democratic and Republican nominees for numerous offices will be lucky to garner the support of even 10% of registered voters in their respective primary races. In such a situation, the fiction that the Democratic and Republican parties are capable of providing representative government to the people of Connecticut can no longer be maintained, if only because the people clearly no longer subscribe to that particular fiction. Rather than vote with their feet, or even their ballots, they are voting with their registration cards. Advocates of open primaries may find fertile ground in the Constitution State.

Rather than open the primary system, however, Connecticut's political establishment has instead chosen to begin brow beating voters to register with the Democratic and Republican parties. Late last week, Democratic Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz held a press conference (.pdf) with leaders of the state's Democratic and Republican party establishment to demand that voters give up their independent affiliations and enroll in the Democratic and Republican parties ahead of the primaries. From the press release:
Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz today urged unaffiliated voters across the state to enroll with the Democrat or Republican Party by August 9th at 12:00 p.m. so they can vote in the statewide primaries Tuesday August 10, 2010. Connecticut's closed party system does not allow unaffiliated voters to cast ballots in the primaries, therefore unaffiliated voters must enroll as either Democrats or Republicans to cast a ballot in the primaries.

“I urge Connecticut’s 840,000 unaffiliated voters – the largest group of our state’s nearly two million active registered voters – to enroll with the Democratic or Republican parties so they can cast ballots and make sure their voices are heard in the primaries,” said Secretary Bysiewicz. “The 2010 election cycle is one of the most exciting we have seen in a long time in Connecticut, with many open seats and closely contested primaries on the Democratic and Republican side for Governor, U.S. Senator and many other important offices. Don’t let this chance to help choose leaders of our state and country pass you by. Affiliate by August 9th at 12:00 p.m. so you can and participate in the primaries August 10th!”

At a news conference in Hartford, Secretary Bysiewicz was joined today by Connecticut Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo and Connecticut Republican Party Vice Chair Catherine Marx, Tony Esposito, President of the Registrars of Voters Association, and representatives from the Connecticut Town Clerks Association, the Connecticut Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the African American Affairs Commission, and the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission.

To get the message out to voters, Secretary Bysiewicz has been engaged in a public awareness effort to get unaffiliated voters to enroll as Democrats or Republicans through Public Service Announcements on radio and television, and newspaper Op-Eds, meetings with Editorial Boards, radio and television interviews throughout the state.
In other words, the Connecticut Secretary of State has begun an aggressive and wide-ranging propaganda campaign aimed at cajoling voters, who obviously know better, into supporting the Democratic-Republican establishment and ruling political class. At My Left Nutmeg, Jon Kantrowitz states flatly that "the Secretary of State has no business doing this":

Urging people to join only 2 of the many parties in Connecticut, just because those 2 are the only ones having primaries, is just, in my humble opinion, wrong, wrong wrong for an official elected to uphold the integrity of elections for all parties and participants.

At Corrente, lambert adds:

If you ever had any doubts that the two legacy parties prop each other up, this little episode should remove them, eh? And the good news is that they're worried. Let's hope they panic!

So kick the props out from under one of the parties, and the other one collapses. It doesn't matter which one of 'em goes first.
This cannot happen soon enough. Today, political freedom and independence begins with freedom and independence from Democratic-Republican party government, from the Democratic-Republican establishment and ruling political class. If you are not independent, you are co-dependent.

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