Peace says the folks who run the state's political parties do not necessarily have the best interests of the average voter in mind when they draft their election and participation rules. He says the state's political parties are "private institutions" with "private rules" and have been given "extraordinary corporate welfare" from taxpayers, even though they do not necessarily serve the public interest.
The interview was conducted last year but its content is even more relevant given the current election season.
Peace is a reformer, activist, and agent of change. He is the son of former Assemblymember and chief of the California Dept. of Finance Steve Peace (D). Peace serves as an attorney for the Independent Voter Project--which is perhaps one of the most innovative and interesting advocacy groups that I have came across in California politics, as well as nationwide.
The goals of the Independent Voter Project (IVP) are simple--to look out for the average voter and their public interests--in a political system that will do anything it can to subvert the will of the average voter if it helps advance their political ends.
To illustrate, most political consultants are happy with low-turnout because it means they have less voters they need to reach. This may be good for the political establishment and the political parties, but not for the public interest.
Peace and I discuss the impact of the top-two primary system, declining voter turnout, and the self-interested motivations of the state's two major parties.
Peace contends that the top two parties primarily serve a "private purpose" and there is a great need to change the system to ensure that it serves a "public one [purpose]."
Talking to Peace was like a breadth of fresh air because he truly cares about the public's interest--a rarity in the current political system.
Peace, like his dad before him, is sharp, dedicated, and extremely insightful--and will continue to be a major force in California and nationwide politics in the decades to come.
The state's two major parties are increasingly not serving the needs of the state electorate, as evidenced by declining membership and the rise of the "decline to state voter." But the state's two major parties don't seem too concerned about it, but everyone else should be.
The IVP intends to bring these voters into the process by giving them a voice and the choice to select candidates that represent their political views--whatever they may be.