Last week, California voters approved Proposition 14, thus ending party primaries for the Golden State. Under the new law, California will hold 'open' primaries, for which any number of candidates of any party may file to run, and only the top 2 vote-getters will proceed to the General Election ballot.
Now I know some of you have idealistic motivations, and sincerely believe this will somehow end partisan fighting so that we can all sing Kum-Ba-Ya and just elect nice people to office. The reality is that everyone has political beliefs, and those of us with similar (note: I did NOT say identical) beliefs like to join together to work for our common goals. Hence we belong to political parties.
In an open party system, the differentiation between the parties is intentionally blurred. Instead of the terms Democrat, Green, Independent, or Republican, etc., to indicate respective candidate viewpoints, voters will have to work harder to educate themselves, something most citizens are already reluctant to do. This plan, promoted by a California RINO, enables Moderates to avoid electoral discipline administered by party voters. (Empower Texans has some fun information on the problem of republicanus moderitis.)
Furthermore, left -leaning states like California can ensure that disatisfaction with an incumbent, like Senator Barbara Boxer, won't cause Democrats to actually lose any power if the incumbent is defeated, since the only other choice on the ballot will be...another Democrat.
The political party system is not perfect, but it is preferable to an open system in that it gives voters insight into a candidate's values and philosophy. The 'non-partisan' approach for Texas school boards and municipalities has already reduced many elections to mere popularity contests rather than policy debates, and should be rejected as a step away from candidate transparency.