Activist state

There are other ways to shake up the state’s primary system

The lack of competition for state-elected positions shows how broken our political system is (“Want More Competitive Political Races? Change the Primary System,” Editorial, August 21). However, the Globe’s prescriptions for repairing it are insufficient.

If we want more candidates, and especially a more diverse field, then we need public campaign funding. Public funds matched by small donations would also address the disproportionate ability of wealthy special interests to influence government policy through massive campaign spending.

Additionally, when candidates are competing in their respective primaries, parties should create incentives to limit or discourage candidates from taking so-called black money from outside sources. This would surely help level the playing field.

Instead of adopting a top-two primary, or “jungle”, in which all candidates appear together on the ballot, regardless of party, vote in order of priority would do much more to encourage more candidates to run, promote campaign civility and boost voter turnout. Ranked choice allows more than two candidates to compete without fear of “splitting the vote” between like-minded people. Since candidates also compete for the second-preference votes of their opponents’ supporters, this diminishes the incentive to run negative campaigns.

As a popular Democratic Party activist and proponent of reform, I agree that the party needs an overhaul. The first step would be to ensure that the majority of our rulers State Committee democratically elected. Currently, the majority of members are appointed. The second step would be to make our elected officials more accountable by publishing a scorecard showing all the candidates’ positions on the party platform and the sources of their political donations.

Rand Wilson


The writer is a member of the Somerville Ward Six Democratic Committee and was a delegate to the Massachusetts Democratic Party Convention in 2022.