The Conservative Party USA and its affiliated Louisiana Conservative Party is of the belief that elections are first all about candidates, and second about political parties. But that sounds naive, like the Louisiana Conservative Party is shooting itself in its foot. Not so.
The purpose of qualifying primaries used for electing individuals to public office is to thin out or reduce the slate of candidates to the top two candidates to face each other in the general election of that office. Since 1977, Louisiana has used a nonpartisan primary in which all candidates irrespective of their preferred political party run against each other for the same elected office. In other words, in Louisiana, there is no grouping of candidates into political party primaries, although national presidential primary elections are the single exception.
The nonpartisan primary practice in Louisiana is certainly not the standard because there are only a few other states that allow variations of it. Bottom line is that the two major parties find the Louisiana primary practice a threat because through the years the American voter has come to accept the notion that elections are a two-party system, Republican and Democrat. It has been 163 years since these two major parties came to dominate the political landscape and it will take aligning every Conservative American under the Conservative Party Banner to break it. Face it, it’s all been about the two major parties controlling the ballot lines. So it’s easy to understand why the major parties mock the Louisiana practice calling it a “Jungle primary.”
Political parties are groupings of voters who are of a common political interest and have registered themselves as having a “preference” for one particular party. No person wishing to present themselves as a candidate to public office should require “passage” through a “closed” party primary, the candidate endorsements of which are controlled by the party. The voting machine ballot line belongs to candidates, not parties. And that is the free and American way of the Louisiana election practice. A Louisiana election for U.S. Senator in 2016 attracted 24 primary candidates. The system worked. In July 2017 there were some 45 different parties selected by voters in their voter registrations, some registered parties, some just in formation and not registered with the state. The ballot line of candidates, however, may only identify with a “registered political party.”
The Louisiana Conservative Party seeks to submit candidates to public office under the banner and endorsement of the Louisiana Conservative Party. Not withstanding that mission, it seeks to elect candidates endorsed by the Louisiana Conservative Party.
The candidate is what we battle for!