“voters who arrive at polling sites in March [for the VA Republican primary] will be required to sign the following statement: ‘I, the undersigned, pledge that I intend to support the nominee of the Republican Party for president.’ The idea is to keep out impostor Republicans, given that Virginia has an open primary, meaning voters of all political stripes, not just Republicans, can participate in the party’s presidential primary.
The problem with the GOP’s logic is, it IS an open primary… if the GOP doesn’t like this, they should seek to change the law to make the Republican primary open only to registered Republicans, the way Florida does it. As an Independent registered in the state of Florida, I can’t say I like Florida’s system, as it effectively bars me from participating in the primary system, but the point is: it’s the law! If I don’t like it, I can work to change it, but I don’t try to subvert the Founding Fathers’ intentions of open, free and fair elections where citizens may vote their consciences by trying to require them so sign some sham pledge that frankly, sounds illegal. Having to sign a pledge to participate in a public vote open to all sounds suspiciously like coercion.
Furthermore, they’re even demonstrating they don’t even trust their own loyal party members. As pointed out by Virginia Republican lawmaker Rob Marshall, they’re “forcing their members to commit to a candidate they’re not yet familiar with.” If you’re a Perry supporter, but Bachman wins the Virginia primary and then 6 months later psychologically goes off the deep end and claims aliens are controlling her brain, by signing this pledge you’re still ethically obligated to support her.
Being forced to support a candidate you don’t agree with (even if you support that party) is wrong, and a perversion of the American election system. I mean, I know plenty of Republicans who are Romney or Perry supporters but who think Ron Paul is nuts. If you were (or are) a Virginia Republican and Paul wins the primary, but Romney or Perry decides to run as an Independent, are you really going to willingly give up your vote to Paul???
I personally believe lawsuits are horrifically overused in this nation and am a huge supporter of tort reform, but in this case, in what I see as an attack on a basic tenet of democracy and our historically-based American system, I hope someone sues the crap out of them.