Ehrisman: Open Nonpartisan Primary Most Important Ballot Measure

Scott Ehrisman weighs in this week with his ballot measure guide. Interestingly, he picks out Amendment V, the open nonpartisan primary, as the most important ballot issue:

Yes on Amendment V. This is the most important Amendment on the ballot this year. By passing the non-partisan election amendment we will change the face of the legislature over the next 5 years, and hopefully we will have less amendments and initiatives in the future once we get better representative officials in Pierre [Scott Ehrisman, “The South DaCola Voter Guide, Kind Of,” South DaCola, 2016.10.10].

It’s tough to quantify the comparative importance of policy proposals.: looking just at the text of the ten proposals, I’d say Amendment V competes with Initiated Measure 22 for potential for changing South Dakota politics. Amendment T is part of that reform effort, although the shape of legislative districts has less extensive impact than V’s overhaul of the entire election process for all partisan offices and 22’s reform of campaign finance for state-level offices. Referred Laws 19 and 20 both fit into the bigger picture of the battle to protect voters’ rights from Legislative overreach, and the payday lending measures, 21 and U, represent a battle to protect the initiative process from big-money tricksters. But in terms of political impact, 22 and V write the biggest changes to our election process into law.

A larger consideration may be that together, all ten ballot measures represent a failure of our Legislature to act in the Capitol on issues important to the electorate.

Ehrisman posts his opinion of eight of the ten measures; he states no opinion on 19 and 23. Let’s compare his positions with the positions I’ve held since February, with the tentative, some just leaning positions expressed by Libertarian blogger Ken Santema in August, and with the positions of Santema’s fellow Libertarian and occasional blogospherian Bob Newland:

Issue South DaCola Dakota Free Press SoDakLiberty Bob Newland
Amendment R: Regents/vo-tech authority split Yes Yes No No
Amendment S: Glodt’s crime victims bill of rights No No No No
Amendment T: Independent Redistricting Commission Yes Yes Yes Yes
Amendment U: Usury! Payday Lender Protection Clause No No No No
Amendment V: Open Nonpartisan Primary Yes Yes Yes Yes
Initiated Measure 21: 36% Payday Loan Rate Cap Yes Yes No Yes
Initiated Measure 22: Anti-Corruption Act Yes Yes No No
Initiated Measure 23: “Fair Share” Union Dues Yes No No
Referred Law 19: Incumbent Protection Act No No Yes
Referred Law 20: Youth Minimum Wage Cut No No Yes No

We four blogospherians speak with one voice on S, T, U, V. We say no to the two amendments sponsored by wealthy out-of-state interests; we say yes to both of the South Dakota-based political reforms proposed for our state constitution. The two Libertarians in this group agree on seven out of ten measures.