Are Open Primaries a Step in the Right Direction?

Making sense of the California ballot is like reading Chinese. Literally, it actually is — although the state graciously provides English and Spanish translations.

One proposition that I find especially baffling is Proposition 14, which would introduce the open primary process for congressional, statewide, and legislative races. In an open primary, all voters can choose any candidate regardless of political party preference. The two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes appear on the general election ballot.

How, if at all, would an open primary system change the political process? Who would benefit most from the change? Would this system prove easier or more difficult than our current system to manipulate?

Crossing my fingers that Mike Murphy weighs in on this one.