Why would I be excited to support either Party as a member of the church because
there obviously isn't room or acceptance in either one for my faith?
Used to go until I realized that there are so many "at large" delegates
that they can block almost anything the elected delegates want to do by majority
of the elected delegates. Particularly this affects making changes to the rules
and attempts at reducing the large count of "at large" delegates that
really control what happens. The old guard always has the big advantage, so
what's the point of going to try to make a "difference?"
And people wonder why the state lawmakers are so right-wing a majority of
Utahans consider themselves moderate. These caucuses get hijacked by these
ultra-right leaning candidates who don't have ANY agenda, and then your average
Utahan shows up to the voting both and just starts punching the "R's"
next to the names. Is sad really. More people should show up, and it's to bad
more people are not interested in politics, instead punting the the guy with
As long as political parties are enshrined in the Utah Code, they should operate
within a framework determined by the state's citizens, not its partisans. The
GOP currently occupies a position of hegemony in the state, so it's no surprise
they don't want things to change. Our present system gives a handful of people,
many of whom are "automatic" delegates, tremendous power in determining
whose names will appear on the general election ballot. Party insiders insist
this puts the power in the hands of the "informed", but time and again
these illuminati act against the will of the majority of Utahns.I do
my homework on candidates and issues, and I fail to see why I or anyone else in
my precinct should delegate our voice in the process to a proxy who's not even
bound to support specific candidates. Say what you will about incumbents vs.
little guys, about grassroots efforts (like the junkmail I keep getting from
out-of-state PACs trying to manipulate state politics), and so on. I don't buy
it. The pyramid of "representation" we currently build ensures that each
level is less representative than the previous one. This is ludicrous. Primary
Our Founding Fathers were wise to form a Republic rather than a Democracy.Most citizens cannot or will not take the time to really get to know the
candidates and issues. Under a Republic, they elect representatives who WILL
take the time and energy to really study the issues and candidates, and then
vote on their behalf.The Utah Caucus system is brilliant, in that it
allows exactly this. The people from a local neighborhood get together and elect
representatives. These representatives then take the time to carefully study the
issues and the candidates.As a result, the best candidates appear on
the ballots of the primary and general elections. I'm afraid that if left to
pure Democracy, too many of us would vote primarily based on name recognition
and a few sound bites -- whether accurate or inaccurate, because we don't have
the time or opportunities to get to know the candidates well enough.Thank heaven we have this wonderful caucus system, that allows every one of us
to vote for like-minded representatives!
It is attitude like the ones expressed that keep the old guard in power. The old
guard is in power because they are the ones in control. They are in control
because they attend and they vote.Others in the mean time do not
attend and gripe about not having any one to vote for, as in same stuff
different day. Sun will always rise in the East and set in the West, I do not think that Caucuses should be legal however being legal you must deal
with them, you are either part of the problem or part of the solution.I believe that anyone should be able run for anything with the Voters of each
party deciding in a run off.A Caucuses choices for you who we have a
choice of. As in the last Election if we can't pull the handle for either one
even if with the least of all evils not working well enough for us to vote for
either person. The least of all Evils is still Evil.Caucuses are not
a good way have an election.
The world is run by those who show up.Some people make things
happen, others watch what happens and some only wonder what happened.The caucus system is superb because is gives power to people who are actually
interested, paying attention and willing to turn off their TV long enough to get
out and go to a meeting once every two years.Simple primaries
instead of caucuses place the power back in the hands of the "elite"
media pundits, and politicians with the most money to spend on advertising.
Candidates with good positions are easily pushed out of the way by that system.
Frankly, too many voters are simply so poorly informed about
candidates and issues that they should not even be allowed to vote!Get informed, and go to your caucus and use your voice to help nominate good
Never been to a caucus or even invited. The only thing I see or read
that these caucus do is confuse people with deception and arrogance of
presumption they are the voice of the people. They limit and control the
audience to peers of legislators, special interest, and their established
policies and unwilling to accept new ideas for citizens and their rights. The
caucuses are geared to business and how to oppresses workers.These
meetings are staged to exact policy on the citizens to overwhelm common sense
and their individuals right and will. They demand rather than show cause for
their actions or purpose. They try to steal ones free will and choice for a one
I vote for the person who is best. I am angry that in order to attend the
caucus or vote in the Republican primary I have to declare myself a Republican.
In my lifetime of living in Utah I have voted for way more Republicans than
Democrats, but this policy makes me much less likely to do so because the
Republicans have become so right winged.
Idaho had theres the other day and some young women went on and on of how
politics are boring and would rather go to the High School All Star game that
conflicted with the caucus. Of course I would of wanted to go to that too. But
did go to the Republican Caucus.and people that I live in a small
county geographically and population wise so caucus did not last long. However
in counties that were large with a large repuplican population took forever.
One problem wiht the Caucus too was missionaries, serviceman, legislatures in
the panhandle and people with work and other obligations could not make it.
Idaho's primary is in May when we know who the nomiee for President is. Hard to
have primary while legislature is in session. I am glad I was able to make it
tthe caucus and cast a vote for President here in Idaho.
@On the other hand 11:07 p.m. March 9, 2012I had to chuckle when you used
the term "Utah Code" because my mind immediately thought about the
theodemocratic tone of Utah government. Then I realized you were referring to
our statutes.My bad.Still, the rumors of LDS influence are alive and
well...in part because of articles such as this one. It is an obvious attempt to
carry the water for the Church regarding attendance at caucuses.
We pledge allegiance "to the republic" because in Article IV, Section 8
of the Constitution, it says, "The United States shall guarantee to every
State in this union a Republican Form of Government." Not a democracy, as
Kirk Jowers and the Democrats want. The principle of representative
government is fundamental to a republican government. The founders knew of
democracyÂs volatile history, which leads to the majority taking
Âlargesse from the treasury,Â the ÂentitlementÂ society
seeking more government dependency.UtahÂs caucus is
representative republican government at the neighborhood level. Anyone can
attend and elect their representatives. Why do people not want to
participate? Perhaps because they are weary of elected officials unaccountable
to the people, the corrupt culture of DC lobbyists that buy and sell votes, and
the arrogance of officialdom. Our schools have taught incorrectly
that this nation is a democracy. Most states elect representatives by
democratic vote Â open primaries. Consider a source of the corruption: it
is the transformation of the republic to a democracy through democratic open
primaries electing only wealthy representatives who can afford the expensive 30
second TV ads by which they are elected.Long live the Republic and
The caucus system is the best way to make sure grass roots movements can work
over large amounts of money. It is the only way someone with $100,000 can go
against someone with $2,000,000 in election funds.There were about
60,000 republicans in Utah that went to the neighborhood caucus elections in
2010 to elect the 3500 delegates. Add to those numbers to democrats and the
primary elections and certainly the municipal elections didn't do any better in
voter representation.Most people that want the caucus system
changed, there are exceptions, are frustrated that they don't have as much power
as people that show up to the neighborhood election caucus meetings. It doesn't
take money, you just have to show up.What we need are more people
getting involved earlier, not shutting down the system that protects us from
power hungry people wanting to take over.
If everyone even tried to attend their caucus there simply wouldn't be enough
room in my front room. Not even in my whole front and back yard combined.
They're just pretending to invite EVERYONE to attend.
"I think they are revealing in black and white what we have intuitively
thought for a long time, that the caucus system is not doing what it's supposed
to be doing," Dabakis said. "It's certainly not engendering the
involvement of the people of Utah in their government."So do
more than 60% vote in elections? I doubt it. The LDS church's effort to increase
caucus attendance via a letter read in sacrament services, cancelation of church
meetings on caucus nights and DN articles such as this is primarily due to one
reason: Senator Bennet's defeat by what some call "radical tea party
members". Has such an effort by the church to increase caucus participation
been done before to this degree?
I just learned that my "neighborhood caucus" will not be in a neighbor's
living room. Instead it will be at the student union building at WSU. That's
quite a neighborhood! I have attended caucuses in the past. Before
last time, they were small meetings filled with people I mostly knew. But last
year, things changed and the living room was jammed with rabid Tea Partiers who
literally shouted down several of us when we tried to express more moderate
views than they wanted to hear.Now I understand there will be a
"moderator" who will determine who will have the opportunity to speak-
and who will not.So much for the First Amendment and a citizen's
right to speak . . . I'll be attending caucus again, but I don't
expect to see democracy in action. Instead it will be that Compound Republic
nonsense I guess. . .
Some thoughts:If 60% have never attended caucuses, yet 50% are interested
this year, then attendance is going up, not down.The caucus/system is not
exclusive. I have caucus hosts (not just attendees) who are not of the
predominate faith. They are awesome, totally welcome and fully active in the
process. Saying you aren't welcome or able to be effective because of your faith
is a copout.Primaries do not bring the people into the process. Primaries
isolate candidates from the vetting of the grassroots and put candidate
selection into the hands of those with large amounts of money and influence. The
only way for real grassroots candidates to have a chance is through the
caucus/convention system.Some high-level Republicans are actively working
to end the caucus system because it is no longer working for them. Are you going
to help them take the power away from the grassroots?There are no Âat
largeÂ state delegates in Utah County as of December 10, 2011. Those seats
have been allocated directly to the precincts. So, please come back and
participate in this fantastic implementation of representative government.
Having to declare a party affiliation to vote in the primary adds to the sense
of futility with this most basic process, the caucus. More of this nation is
centrist or moderate than either Right or Left so the process excludes
people--especially here in Zion. True partisan debate has led to great things
happening in the history of this country. What we have now is leadership by
temper tantrum and the work of the people is not being done. The practice of
obstructionist politics has led to our present situation more than anything. I
would like to see a day when I can register as an Independent in Utah and vote
my conscience. I don't subscribe to either party because neither fully
represents how I feel or what I know about the issues or the people. My GOP
family and friends say this is flakey because I dare have a thought of my own.
This reason and much more translate to people not bothering with caucuses. If
you are not a Republican in this state, you have no actual representation and
much less voice. Poll that.
I will be honest: in my 73 yrs of teaching polysci, never have I witnessed a
worse anti-American Prez than Obama.I live in the soviet republic of Ca. It is a
hopelessly leftist state, bankrupt and following or leading Obama's national
eco., soc, pol,health-public safety destruction. I will still vote in the Pub
primaries because I cannot abide another 4 years of socialist radical horrors
for this nation. From Obamacare to scandals to borders to debt to a horrid
energy solution, this man and his Party are killing our American heritage,
history and values. And some in Utah are in a snit because the Pub candidates
are not perfect?????Oh puleeze. Anybody but Obama.You ought to be ashamed.
Informed Voter, perhaps you unaware for many years now the LDS church has had a
letter of political neutrality read in Sacrament meetings before the caucuses
are held. In this letter in addition to political neutrality they also
encourage participation in the caucus meetings and direct that all Church
meetings scheduled for those evenings should be canceled to allow attendance
without church obligations that evening.Cityslickergrandma: The
purpose of a primary or a caucus is for the party to vet their potential
candidates and choose who they will put up to run as their candidate against
persons from other parties. While President Washington was against a party
system, that is what we have. The present effort in states with open primaries
by democrats voting republican in effort to get more delegates to candidates who
are seen as less likely to defeat their candidate underscores the need of
parties to close primaries and caucuses to only party members. Join the party
of your choice and participate in the selection of party candidates.
I'm not a Republican or a Democrat. I'm an American. I am legally registered
to vote in the State of Utah. Yet if I want to participate in the taxpayer
funded Republican caucus/primary, I have to register with a party that I do not
agree with 100% (I also do not agree 100% with the Democrats since I'm a
moderate who can think for himself). My Republican friends tell me
that they fear sabotage if they open up their caucus/primary and that the
"Republicans should choose Republicans." I am perfectly fine with that,
if the Republicans wanted to cover the costs of their OWN caucus/primary.
However they continue to take taxpayer money to pay for this. Why does this
look hypocritical for Republicans? Perhaps it's just another example of how
both parties are more into politics for money/power instead of helping the bulk
of American citizens who are in the middle.This is why we have
little faith in the caucus system. It needs to be opened up to all legal voters
or privately funded if you want to make the system fair.
The point of attending a causcus is not to "support" a party. It is to
change the party to support you. It makes sense to go to the caucus where you
feel you can find the most candidates that you can agree with, but if you go to
no caucus it is your very non-participation that makes you opinion not count.I have severe reservations about the caucus system. However the
reservations are mainly a result of people assuming they should only go if they
"agree with the party" when in fact the caucus is the place where the
party position is formed.
I remember when I lived in Utah in 2004 a letter read saying all church meetings
on caucus night should be cancelled and encoraging us to attend the causcus of
our choice. That was 10 years before Bennett's defeat so the claim this is a
recent push is not based in fact. Elder Cook may or may not be the first to
directly encorage it in a CES braodcast, but it is false to say this is the
first time the church has encoraged caucus participation.
What I'm reading here is a whole bunch of victim mentality. They want to
complain, yet don't want to bother to show up to ONE NIGHT of interaction with
their neighbors to change anything.How much should we bet that these same
"victims" come on this message board to complain about the positions
taken the day AFTER the caucuses?The ONLY ones complaining about the
caucuses are the incumbents because they don't AUTOMATICALLY get to keep their
jobs and those who think the incumbents should have an advantage over any/all
It shows by the comments that most do not understand that the only way for a
regular middle class citizen to even be able to venture into politics is by the
caucus. If you want only the rich politician's pulling at your freedoms and
apron strings then don't become involved. Those who refuse to open their eyes
get what they deserve in the laws imposed, the loss of jobs we face and the
money we have to pay to keep business rich in Utah. This state need each
and every one of you to come to the caucus, vote and make a difference here in
Utah. Please don't assume that all are out to get you. During the caucus you
will meet the average joe just like yourselves. Once your eyes are open to the
corruption you will never turn back, I promise. Please be there.
The first admendment gives the right to heckle and the right to shout down your
opponent are inherently within the first admendment. On the other hand, the
right of the government to create controlled public forums where the moderator
controls the speach also exists as long as the moderation is done in a way to
allow all to speak and not in a way to silence some.
I'm going to predict a record turnout at the caucuses this year. If I'm wrong,
I'm just a bad guesser.
As a member of a third party with zero interest in either the bizarre zealous
anti-Americanism of the current Utah Republican party, or the scattered and
ineffective Democratic Party, I can't go to a caucus. I did go to my third
party's convention last time around and probably will again. I bet many of those
with no interest in joining the "big 2" parties find themselves in the
As a regular caucus attendee to Utah Caucuses since 1966, I am grateful for this
continuing opportunity for grassroots participation in the political process.
While my views may not always be victorious, I have always felt I have had a
voice because I have participated. You do not need money to
participate in Utah Politics. If you feel passionate about something in Utah
Politics, get involved. You can make a difference by showing up, weighing in on
an issue,or by supporting a candidate or position. This is the work of
citizenship and more than anything, it takes time, effort and study - not money.
The Utah Caucus system is open, but you must step forward and
declare and work for your views. Politics is not a one night stand but requires
commitment I add my voice to others that encourage Utahns to attend their 2012
Caucus meeting and become involved in this grand work of being an American.
What a shame.
After reading in the paper that few Utahns are interested in attending caucus
meetings, I think it would be interesting to ask WHY? I attended one a few years
ago and was ignored and bulldozed. The same people are always made delegates. I
was so frustrated and annoyed that I swore I wouldn't go again.I'm
guessing that is the case in other areas as well. I would be politically active
if our caucus wasn't such a foregone conclusion.I think we are going to
have to face the facts that voters may be more engaged in the future by caucus
using some form of social media. That way we could weed out the entrenched Old
Guard who have "aways done it this way" and thought they were the only
ones who knew what was good for us.
Let's be clear folks on this issue, those who are whining about being shouted
down and bulldozed are just complaining because they couldn't convince their
neighbors that their positions were better. Nothing more than sour grapes.Why anyone still quote Jowers is a mystery to me. The guy is a political
hack who has disdain for the current caucus system but his wife is a delegate.
Hypocritical? Also, there is a process for anyone to get on the General Ballot.
Bennett, after he was done crying when he lost in the convention last time, was
seriously considering it. Thankfully he didn't and he's now in retirement at the
Dnews.For you whiny Independents and those who can think for
yourselves, why on earth should you have a say in who represents a political
party in the general election? You get to vote in the General Election.My precinct meetings are awesome. Someone throws their hat in the ring, we ask
them questions, they answer them, we vote. No name calling, tantrums or anything
else. Just adults discussing things that are important enough to show up and
make a difference. See you Tues and/or Thur and April 21st.
I probably won't attend- because I trust my more politically involved neighbors
to go and make good choices. I still get to vote in the primary and general
elections. I think the system works fine the way it is now.
What a truly sad commentary on Utah voters. Their attitude seems to be: "I
will let others decide who the candidates will be and then maybe I will
vote." This makes for a weak state and a weak nation, letting others make
my decisions on candidates. If they are active LDS and make this decision then
they are not true to the principles of the church concerning community
involvement. Those who do not participate actively in the process
do not have any leg to stand on when it comes to government decisions and
actions. They have excused themselves from being an active and involved
American. When half say they will let the other half do the thinking it is a
downward spiral for this nation. When 60% do not go to the polls to actually
vote they are again letting others do the work and make their decisions. They vote they get a card, which allows them to complain. They don't
vote tell them to move on and come back after they have become a part of the
American process and show they truly care about America and have voted.
Re: one old man 8:38 a.m. March 10, 2012"But last year, things changed
and the living room was jammed with rabid Tea Partiers who literally shouted
down several of us when we tried to express more moderate views than they wanted
to hear"I go to our caucus to vote, not to express my moderate
views. And yes, I expect to see democracy in action.
@Rifleman, if you expect to see democracy in action, you'll be sorely
disappointed; caucuses are hardly democratic. If, however, you expect to see a
republican form of a republican form of a republican form of government, your
expectations will probably be met.
No caucus meetings for independents. Since I am not allowed to vote in the
Republican Primary why should I bother to go--not enough of us to outvote the
radical and non-compassionate right wing of that party. And it becomes
increasingly painful to vote year after year after year for good people who have
no possibility of winning.
Does anyone know if Salt Lake County still has "automatic delegates"?