Utah's Neighborhood Elections force candidates to pay attention to rural
areas of Utah. Direct primaries encourage candidates to ignore rural areas and
communicate only by paid advertising. A direct primary would create fly-over
areas of Utah that will rarely get to meet their candidates face to face.We have a system that that does NOT favor the incumbent, the wealthy or
the famous. This is a good thing, and should be preserved.The
Neighborhood Election and Convention system in Utah is the best way to make sure
a grassroots process can win over large amounts of money. It is the only way
someone with $100,000 can go against someone with $2 million in election funds.
At only one time for 10 years in Utah’s history did the state depart from
the Neighborhood Election, Caucus and Convention System. In 1937, a powerful
democratic state senator convinced enough of the legislature to switch to an
open primary. He had had two losses, a US Senate race and also for governor,
because the majority of the convention delegates disagreed with his legislative
voting record. But he was well known and had money.Many at the time
felt like an open primary was his ticket to the governorship, and he did win.
But the change in the system only lasted for a decade. After public and media
disillusionment, and even worse voter turnout, Utah restored the Caucus and
Convention System. Why go back?
One item I'd like to pick on in this: "Unmotivated voters". With
the caucus system, it's possible to exclude many of the 'wrong
kinds' of motivated voters simply by shifting the timing of the caucus.
Utah is a business-friendly state, which unfortunately can mean that business
are not effectively required to allow time off for such things as political
participation, and in my experience, will not allow it. This can shut many out
of the political process if it's a one-time event. If a caucus leader
wants to create timing that shuts more moderate voters of the party out of the
process, then scheduling the caucus and closing the doors at a certain time is
one way to do it.
It's not just about "unmotivated" voters. But those who have work
or other obligations and cannot spend that amount of time on that particular
The caucus system disenfranchises thousands of voters who cannot get to the
caucus meeting. Thousands of missionaries and military personnel plus thousands
of people who work nights are not able to participate. Also, the
Bennett ouster, against the wishes of a majority of Republican voters is
evidence that right-wing extremists control the system. If the
caucus system is so wonderful why have the majority of the States abandoned it
in favor of an open-primary?
There have been all kinds of justifications put forth to keep the caucus system,
but I think this one is a good example of the arrogance that permeates the echo
chamber of Utah's rightwing club. Essentially, "we deserve
more power than you because we organize early and educate each other on the
issues, as we see them. The rest of you are lazy and uninformed, or even worse,
misinformed by the 'lame stream media', manifested by the fact you
don't see things like we do".This echo chamber is what
brought Utah Mike Lee, who most Americans would view as a reckless buffoon, but
tea partiers probably view as a great hero, a source of pride. "Remember
the shutdown!" will be the rallying cry, but to everyone else this kamikaze
mission was an embarrassment, a failure of representative government, and the
Republican party came out weaker, due to their own missteps.More
people need to be involved in shaping our political choices in Utah, beyond the
organized minority. The pseudo-exclusive club of organized activists have served
Utah poorly, most would agree, including an impressive array of former Utah
I am a moderate voter.I have attended caucuses.I have
also been literally shouted down by extremists at the last two I've
attended.I was not the only one subject to that treatment.Count My Vote is very badly needed.
The moderate voters are shouted down. The caucus results in Senator Lee type
radicals. That is reason enough to change.
If parties do not want to be subjected to State Laws when picking their
candidates, they should have a primary, or some other selection process that is
completely free of State funds. Who do you think pays for the current primary
Any political system that puts Mike Lee in the United States Senate is by any
rational, real-world definition a failure.
There are many people, who just do not want to go to a caucus, and get into a
political argument with their neighbors.Many people would prefer to keep
their opinions to themselves.Just like no one would like it, if when they
went to vote, there was a big screen showing everyone in the room, how they are
voting.Go to a primary, and my guess is the voting numbers would equal
what we see in general elections.
Re: "The caucus system disenfranchises thousands of voters who cannot get to
the caucus meeting..." (Sal)If you can make it to a primary...
you can make it to a caucus meeting.We only had 6% turn out to the
recent primary election. You didn't complain about that. Evidently 94%
of the people can't be bothered to show up at their Primary OR their caucus
meeting). That's the problem.IF we could get decent Primary
election turnout (we already have them you know) I'd be OK with turning it
over to the Primary. Is just 6% making the decision without having attended a
single meeting, without talking to a single candidate, with their only source of
information the TV Commercials, what you want? That's not better IMO.I think if people want to get involved they can (whether it's a
caucus meeting or a primary)... but first you have to show up.The
shouting down thing is mostly a myth from people who never actually attended a
caucus meeting and just heard it somewhere and keep repeating it (granted it
SOUNDS like it happens all the time). But I've never actually witnessed
It's weird that the people who constantly complain about getting shouted
down... are the most vocal people on the internet. If they would just be that
vocal at their caucus meeting (and actually attend one)... they would fit in
well.The moderator's not supposed to let people get shouted
down. But it's also not supposed to be a meeting where everybody gets up
and voices their opinion. It's not a town hall meeting or a public
hearing. It's way different. Everybody who volunteers to be
a delegate should get time to introduce themselves and their views.
That's what it's about. Find the delegates that you fundamentally
agree with most and vote for them to represent the group at the convention. But
it's not for everybody in the room to get up and talk.
Those who don't like how either political party selects candidates can form
their own party. If there are so many dissatisfied "moderates" the
selection of a candidate from this majority pool should win hands down as the
"extremists" from both parties would split the extreme vote and the
solid, middle ground majority would have the election in the bag.Only thing wrong with this idea is what plagues the present chorus of people
who are dissatisfied, they won't show up, or contribute money to the party,
or work in campaigning for their candidate.By many definitions I
read, extremists are people who read, get involved, give of time and money to
push forward their agenda. Folks, we all have agendas, even the MMVC crowd.It is none of the state's business how political parties select
The voters will now be motivated to dump that tea party.
Caucus meeting is not supposed to be an opportunity for everybody to rant on
their favorite topic. It's to figure out who is willing to represent the
group, and vote to select which delegate you want representing you at the
convention. It isn't a guarantee that you will get to speak
your mind.... UNLESS.. you volunteer to be a delegate. Then I guarantee you
will get your chance to rant. But it's not intended to be an
opportunity for every person to get up and rant on their favorite topic or
candidate.There's often an opportunity for people to share
their opinions... but that's not the main purpose for the meeting.
It's not supposed to be a campaign event where surrogates get up and
campaign for their guy. It's a neighborhood event, where you get together
and share your thoughts (not only with the mike but also just chatting with
people you see there that you want to share with or hear from).It's not a everybody gets to speak thing. So if you got shouted down...
you were probably out of order. Volunteer and you will get a chance to speak.
And what is WRONG with "motivated voters"?Obama supporters
in 2008 were highly motivated voters... Obama worked HARD to motivate voters in
2008, and was PRAISED For it.I guess it's only WRONG if you are
a motivated voter... and you lean right?You're only a
"radical" if you are motivated and right leaning? But if you insist
that Socialism is the only way, praise Obama non-stop, admit your a VERY
motivated voter, and even adopting the "Marxist" moniker, etc...
that's OK.But if you even sympathize with the Tea Party...
you're a radical, and bad for the country, and part of something that
should be wiped out.I'm amazed at where we are today.