But this claim only has a smidgen of substance, so long as you don't look at the rest of the three part process. Once the system is viewed as a whole, the prohibition of write-ins at the third stage becomes perfectly reasonable.
Stage One Liberation
Prop 14 is liberating for the people of California because it opens the door for a multi-party state legislature, and paves the way for the end of one-party domination. This is not a loss for members of third parties, but a liberation! Ballot access at the beginning stage has been opened up like never before. Any ambitious person who wants to run for a seat in the state legislature has only to pay a small filing fee (generally just over $900), and garner only a few dozen signatures on a petition to have his or her name placed on the ballot.
Before now, only people who had the approval of the leadership of qualified parties had any kind of chance to run for office. Now, however, the individual is free to form his or her own campaign organization in his or her district, pay the fee, turn in the petition, and join the race! Because the individual has formed his or her own party-in-the-district, if he or she wins office, the self-serving state-wide party organization will have no leverage over this legislator.
In only a few election cycles, legislating could become a process of "independents" forming their own coalitions outside the one-party structure. Then negotiation and compromise would replace the destructive self-serving strategies of the Dem-dominated legislature.
The Stage Two Campaign
No one has to be rich or famous to get started under Prop 14. Anyone who is adept at using the social media, and has personal energy, drive, organizing skills, and a network of supporters within the district has a fighting chance at winning in stage two. This stage begins as soon as the individual has met the requirements to have his or her name placed on the primary ballot. Using traditional political skills and resources, anyone, with or without party membership, can get elected. The playing field is both level and wide open.
Stage Three Understood
Because stage two may have many candidates, chances are that no one will win by a clear majority. But in a democracy, the leadership should have the backing of a majority to assure its legitimacy. That is why two candidates are presented for a final vote.
Having write-ins at this stage would allow someone to by-pass the process that the top two had just gone through. How fair is that?