From the NY Times:
In a reversal, a prominent government watchdog said Wednesday that it now supported eliminating the role of parties in city elections, adding momentum to an effort to bring the issue before voters in November.
The group, Citizens Union, had opposed the idea of nonpartisan elections seven years ago, when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg campaigned for it. His effort was handed a decisive defeat by voters.
But in a report released on Wednesday, the group said that turnout had grown so low and elections so preordained that parties should lose their domineering power.
“We want to reduce the gamesmanship,” said John P. Avlon, who led a task force that studied the City Charter for six months. “It’s a remedy to our current problems. Its time has come.”
Under the proposal, primaries would be open to all voters no matter their party registration. The top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, would face off in the general election. Similar systems are currently used in other cities, including Boston, Dallas, Detroit and Los Angeles.
To move forward, the proposal must gain the backing of the city’s Charter Revision Commission, which is charged with examining the governing structure of New York. The commission, appointed by Mr. Bloomberg, is expected to make preliminary recommendations in July, followed by a round of public hearings.
It will most likely issue a final report by early September, and can place recommended changes on the ballot in November.
The Daily News thinks this is a bad idea.