Democracy in TransitionJustice Antonin Scalia wrote the following words regarding free association with the majority opinion in California Democratic Party v. Jones."In no area is the political association's right to exclude more important than in the process of selecting its nominee. That process often determines the party's positions on the most significant public policy issues of the day, and even when those positions are predetermined it is the nominee who becomes the party's ambassador to the general electorate in winning it over to the party's views."This 2000 ruling invalidated California's blanket primary, therefore setting the stage for the series of events regarding Washington's elections.In 2004, the courts determined our longstanding blanket primary harmed free association. Washington's primary met the same fate as California's. As a result, Olympia had to come up with a new system.The Washington Grange lobbied for a partisan top-two. This proposal is similar to the blanket primary; all the candidates would appear on the same primary ballot. The top-two vote getters proceed to the general election regardless of party affiliation.The two major parties wanted a primary with exclusive partisan sections or ballots, similar to what is used throughout most of the U.S.The House and Senate passed a partisan top-two bill with a provision for exclusive primaries if the former was declared unconstitutional. Gov. Gary Locke vetoed the top-two election section of the bill and signed the rest, effectively implementing what is known as the pick-a-party primary.— Krist NovoselicRead the entire post here.White Center Annexation Alive and WellSeattle City Council voted 5-3 this afternoon to keep Mayor Nickels' bid for annexing North Highline on the table. The 6 square miles of unincorporated King County, south of West Seattle, includes White Center and is also being courted by Burien. Voting no were council members Peter Steinbrueck, Jan Drago, and Tom Rasmussen.The Urban Development and Planning Committee (chaired by Steinbrueck and co-chaired by Rasmussen) earlier recommended putting the annexation effort to rest, but they were overturned today by members Sally Clark, Richard Conlin, Nick Licata, Jean Godden, and David Della, who opted to give Nickels at least one more shot to secure the needed funding from Olympia. (Richard McIver wasn't present for the vote.)Dismissal by the council today may have meant curtains for the effort, one that Nickels counts as a cornerstone of his waning second term. The mayor's office has already been laying the groundwork for another run at lobbying the Legislature for a sales tax credit needed to make the annexation pencil out. But getting it is going to be one tall order. The session in Olympia— which begins Jan.14— is only 60 days, and lawmakers, including Ways and Means Chair Margarita Prentice, likely won't have much appetite for spending. (She killed the city's effort last year by not scheduling a hearing for the bill.)— Aimee Curl Comments of the WeekIn case you haven't noticed, you can now leave comments on EVERY SINGLE ARTICLE we publish. You've always been able to toss in on the blogs, but now you can spout off on our restaurant reviews, music stories, columns, and everything else.Here's a look at a few (unedited) thoughts left on articles over the last week:S.L.U.T.: Hooker Line's a Stinker"STIX was bound to fail from the beginning. Talk about pretension without class. I was excited when it opened as I live pretty close but found the food and drink too expensive and not that good. They obviously cut corners when opening it and to blame there problems on the streetcar will just make a sinking ship sink faster. Go away if you don't like it, the neighborhood would much rather have the SLUT than your skanky bar."— Posted by "Gabe Global"Taxpayers Get Burned. Again."government should be taxing burials, not cremations. burials are more costly in terms of land consumption and environmental consequences. we should be supporting and encouraging cremation as a more sustainable option."— Posted by "libbertine"Seattle's Best Frozen Yogurt"I haven't yet been to Shnoo, but I do frequent several of the other frogurt places in town. Crazyberry is very disappointing. Always icy. Red Mango is good, and certainly gets a visit whenever I'm in Bellevue. However, in my opinion, far and away the best version in town is at YoBerry on 3rd and Marion. It's consistently creamy and tangy-yogurty, and their fruit are in perfect condition (although they only give you 4 raspberries)."— Posted by "Daryn"A Former Rainier Beach Star Was Exiled to the Wacky World of Filipino Basketball"Did you really use the word Mandingo to describe the sexual actions of foreign ballplayers? Particularly the black ones? Wow, just Wow."— Posted by "Allen"