One of the most serious problems facing Texas, and the nation, is the increasing partisan polarization of the electorate and the resulting partisan polarization of our officeholders. Yet even as the public expresses its displeasure with this ever-worsening situation, the more pervasive it becomes. I suggest that we could reverse this trend simply by adopting open primaries (currently being advocated by the governor of California). If we held open primaries, party zealots would not control which candidates wind up on the November ballot, and moderates would have a chance to be elected in November.

Ratliff was a state senator from Mount Pleasant from 1989 to 2003 and lieutenant governor of Texas from 2000 to 2003.

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