I think they need to be more concerned about a lop-sided One-Party Totalitarian
system.See you at the Caucuses....
Sadly, the lack of involvement is due to the fact that it feels like it makes so
little difference. To make it truly valuable, the state needs to allow those
registered as Independents to vote in the primary of their choosing. As it is
we are forced into one of the major parties and many of us simply are not
either/or, we are Independents--we are somewhat liberal on certain things and
somewhat conservative on others, rarely all the way one or the other on all
things. I will sustain the 1st Presidency in this effort to get people to be
more engaged as a member of the LDS church to the best of my ability, but there
are serious impediments to doing so that will force many not to bother with
being available again this year.
Even in the predominant party, multiple voices are desperately needed,
especially in Utah. We have the ability to reason through and send thoughtful
candidates to office that will not just do whate everyone else is doing, but who
will extend thoughtful tolerance and wisdom to all aspects governing our
I appreciate the writer pointing out that none of this is new--other than
addressing lower caucus participation.
Yes we do LDS Liberal, run by Obama and the Democrats/progressives/liberals.
I don't live in Utah but here in Idaho, my (and I am certain for thousands of
other voters) participation in public meetings with Democrats has been
frustrating for both myself and the meeting sponsors. My views on same sex
marriage,religous liberty, the second amendment, fiscal responsibility, self
reliance, limited government and abortion are not well received in those
meetings so I tend to stay away and continue to vote my conscience! In other
words, my views are not welcome in the Democratic party!
Why would anyone say that going to a caucus makes no difference? Are
they trying to say that because another citizen has a political viewpoint that
differs from their own, that that other citizen should not attend the caucus?Do they think that because the majority of those who care enough about a
representative form of government voted for Republicans, that that form of
government should be abolished?Do they think that because few
Democrats or Independents are elected, that the conservative viewpoints of
Utah's citizens need to be ignored and that Democrats or Independents need to be
allowed to vote twice or three times - until Democrats or Independents are
elected?The caucus system works. Those who care about living in a
representative republic will go to their caucus meeting. Those who do not care
will continue to carp and whine and complain.
As a moderate Democrat, I appreciate the Church for reminding everyone that
"principles compatible with the gospel may be found in the platforms of the
various political parties." In fact, I switched to Democrat because I
believe that the Democrats better embody the teachings of Christ and the LDS
church regarding the poor and elderly, tolerance of others, caring for the
environment, and so forth.Also, I believe that Jim Dabakis' name is
misspelled in this article (as Debakis).
We had a record turn-out at the caucuses in an off-year election in 2010 - more
than the Presidential election year in 2008. The idea that
Government should be the charity-giver, competing with the Church's role and
diminishing it is the over-riding theme of a progressive thinker. They are in
both parties, but predominantly in one party - the Democratic Party. If we want to become Greece, we are on the right road to ruin in this present
administration. If you are concerned, come to the Republican caucus where you
will have a voice and find like-minded commonsense conservatives. We're going
to need a veto-proof Congress with experienced and qualified representation if
President Obama should be re-elected.
I have always been politically independent because I don't agree with any party
enough to give up my independence. Perhaps I am not the only one that feels this
way, and that is the root of the problem?
"To make it truly valuable, the state needs to allow those registered as
Independents to vote in the primary of their choosing. As it is we are forced
into one of the major parties"Independents are welcome and able
to participate in Democratic caucuses and primaries. It is only the Republican
primary that requires that you be a registered Republican to vote in it.
There was a record turnout at the 2010 -- but too many Tea Party members. This,
I believe, is what the brethren are unhappy about because Sen. Bennett was voted
out. The Church Does not want to see Sen Hatch voted out by what they think was
an extremist result in 2010, so they want more non-Tea Party people to attend
this time. News that they want more attendees cannot state the real reason so
they shroud it by saying more people should attend. I will vote for Hatch, but I
applaud what happened in 2010. Senator Lee is doing a much better job than
Bennett, but Bennett's loss was a blow to Church influence in D.C.
@Cherilyn, thanks for presuming to tell me what I think.
Voter turnout rates are known to favor one party or issue above others. As such,
this official statement by Church leaders very well may be a veiled attempt to
influence political events under the guise of "religious
exemption".Perhaps it is just as inappropriate for a Church to
make any statement about politics, as it would be for a political authority to
advise citizens to attend Church, or read your scriptures, or pay your tithing!
How about expressing a concern that less than have even both to show up to vote
2 words: Prop. 8.
Pagan | 10:34 a.m. Feb. 14, 2012 Salt Lake City, UT1 word:Passed
The caucus system is antiquated, but the worst thing about it here in Ut(opia)
is that it pits neighbors against neighbors, neighborhoods against
neighborhoods. Civil dialogue is a thing of the past. Each is allowed to
believe whatever they believe, as long as they believe as I believe. There are
many who latch onto what they believe their church believes about an issue, and
they will not compromise - even if their belief is wrong; and any who believe
differently are hell-bound heathens. It is incredibly difficult to listen to a
self-righteous gun-toting tea party person rant and rave at a caucus meeting,
berating and belittling any idea lacking the angry momma bearâs seal of
approval, and then listen to them teach a Sunday school lesson on love the
following Sunday. I agree with many of the posts above - I am an independent
voter - fiercely independent. Not only do I agree with many of the tenets of
each party, I also strongly disagree with many of each. I grew up in Europe and
the far east, and I have always found many extremely good people in many
different religions. I believe the same thing about political parties - there
are good ideals in each of them, and people who are better for following those
ideals, but none of them is worthy of the power held by the supermajority party
here. As we see each year at this time, âabsolute power corrupts
I used to go to the Republican every year for over 20 years until I found out
that the "at large" delegates were so many that they could counteract
a very large popular majority of opinion. Then I worked with a group for a while
to reduce the number of or effect of the at large delegates. Absolutely no
chance of that happening. The "king-makers" have it wrapped up in
Utah. Only switching to a primary election instead of caucuses will ever break
the power of the Utah king-makers."
I think it's good that the church is stressing voter participation and
emphasizing both caucus dates. I think there's way too much sentiment among
church members (not the leadership) that you can't be a good LDS member and a
Democrat. The Pew or Gallup (I forget which) poll had demographic numbers for
LDS members and if you did a little extra math you found that while the survey
had 79% activity rates, only half of liberal LDS members were active. I take it
many of them have had their share of experiences like mine with an institute
teacher that insisted we had to support the Iraq war as a holy war against Islam
or else we'd be going against the prophet or maybe there's someone who always
insists on bringing up Glenn Beck during sunday school meetings and some
eventually just stop attending because they start to associate going to church
with being a source of stress.
For the Republican Party, the attendance at the precinct level caucus is really
what this article is about. At the Precinct level which was highly attended in
my precinct last time, March 2010, was extremely high. For 20 years, it was a
handfull of people to fill positions for the County and State conventions and
sometimes one would have to fill both positions. However, last time, instead of
the handfull there were about 80 in attendance. The couple of delegates from
each precinct then go to the County Convention and usually a couple of others go
to the state convention. The county and state conventions can have multiple
people at the conventions, only the selected delegates. It is important to
attend and be involved but again, the people attending the precinct level vote
or select people for the county and state. So the 80 people did that. In that
caucus meeting in 2010, the other majority of those people I hadn't seen before.
You are supposed to verify the people in attendance but I don't think that was
done for everyone in attendance. Senator Bennett is a good man, but didn't
provide feedback for years of letters and e-mails I had sent. Since 2010,
Senator Hatch has been more enlightened but also, he has given me feedback for
most of the 20 years. The Tea-Party type people did help hold accountability
and they were in attendance. Common sense is also important to our system.
re: New Yorker,With all respect due to citizens from New York, your
comment is complete untrue.In 2010, the citizens of Utah, not the
"King Makers", rejected Mr. Bennett in his quest to be
"King". The ordinary citizens of Utah went to a caucus and voted for a
delegate who pledged to vote for someone other than Mr. Bennett. The system
worked. All of Mr. Bennett's millions did not put him on the ballot. The
citizens were tired of hearing that someone "deserved" to represent
the State of Utah, that someone's father had represented the State and that the
son should continue to represent the State. The citizens were tired of hearing
that a Senator who only poked his head out of his office every six years, was
somehow representing the State of Utah.This year, on March 15th, Mr.
Hatch is going to learn that the people of Utah have grown tired of his
"King Making" rhetoric, or his claim that he is the only person fit
for the job, of his political promise to get the job done "this
time".We have a primary election AFTER the caucus has allowed
us to select our candidates.
@carnack one word unconstitutional.
Carnak | 10:57 a.m. Feb. 14, 2012, 2 word reply: 9th
The next time I hear a fellow member of my local NY LDS congregation exclaim,
"How can someone be a good LDS and a Democrat?", I'll use the quote in
this article, "principles compatible with the gospel may be found in the
platforms of the various political parties." As a registered Independent, I
have found both attractive and negative aspects to both major parties'
platforms...and candidates, as well!
We, Utah, is dominated by Republicans. So, whether there is full participation
or low participation, it does not matter in the grand scheme. Utah's will vote
for the Republican with an average of around 68-70% everytime. Social issues
must be the reason, because most Utahns economically fit into the frame of the
Democratic policies.Examples of Republican dominanceLook
at the whole Merril Cook experiment. He could not get elected as an
Independent... first go round as a Republican and he's in! I think it's good
for all Americans to be involved in the process. Yet, for Utahn's, in the end,
the result will be the same. Only once since 1948 (LBJ) has Utah voted
Democratic in the Presidential race.
As a strict independent, caucus season is always a trying time for me as a 110
percenter member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Letter-day Saints (you know,
bishopric, high council, quorum president, group leader, other leadership roles,
etc.). I can't align with any political party, yet we are admonished to attend
our caucus meetings. Perhaps we should organize a caucus of the unaffiliated. My
voice is needed, along with so many others, to temper the voices of extremism in
the major parties. I just want to see problems solved. I can't stomach
registering as a Republican. What to do...
@ Pagan | 1:00 p.m. Feb. 14, 2012 Salt Lake City, UT Last
When I lived in Salt Lake, I attended the Democrat precinct caucus. I was the
only one who showed up from my precinct, so I nominated and elected myself to be
precinct chair. My wife later joined in as vice-chair. As a result, I got to
go to the county and state conventions and met many very nice people with good
intentions.I had a blast and would recommend it to anyone.
re: USA,The operative words are "party caucus". A caucus
is not a primary. A caucus is not the general election. A caucus is the time
when people who belong to a PARTY elect delegates to represent them at the PARTY
nominating convention. Those who choose NOT to belong to a party will have to
wait until others have made choices for them. Those who choose NOT to
participate will also have to wait until others make choices for them.No one is forced to belong to a party, but only the very foolish would think
that they should have the privilege of choosing candidates for a party when they
have chosen to not affiliated with a party.REPUBLICANS decide who
will run on the REPUBLICAN ballot in the primary election. I won't comment on
the process used by Democrats because I'm not registered as a Democrat. I'll
let them decide how they choose those who best represent them and the platform
of their party.There is no "independent party". Your choice is to affiliate with a party or to let others make your decision
for you. Sitting on the fence and waiting helps no one.
Mountainman, that is exactly how I feel when I try to reason with
Republicans.Perhaps we all need to learn to listen and respect one
another. But when you attend a neighborhood caucus only to be shouted down --
with a lot of pretty foul language mixed in -- that's not America.Or
at least it shouldn't be.
"principles compatible with the gospel may be found in the platforms of the
various political parties."Except that, de facto endoresment of
political parties and candidates occurs because of the church-owned Deseret
News. The articles are often written from a Republican/Conservative viewpoint
and the op-ed and editorial columns are far-right. Are there any moderate,
center-right columnists regularly published in the Deseret News? Was there a
general article about Obama's budget--covering the various things he has
proposed? Or was the main article about Obama's budget focused on how it may
affect charitable giving? I would expect if the church truly was not endorsing a
political party then their newspaper would be more moderate and even carry
articles/op-eds from both sides of the political spectrum. But that
is never going to happen. So, despite the Church's stated position, many
members will continue to believe that one can't be a good church member and
Democrat at the same time. atl134I've had similar
The caucus I attended in 2010 had almost double the participation of previous
years. Perhaps they are thinking more of turnout in primary and general
Two words9th Circus
Since when did a newspaper have to appeal to the Left or even to the
"moderates"? Truthseeker would have us believe that in order to be
fair, news can't be reported truthfully and that it first goes through a
"slanting committee" to verify that nothing too far right is
printed.What utter nonsense. News is news. If the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encourages its members to get off
their couches and participate in the election process, why should it bother
Truthseeker?How little Truthseeker knows about the LDS Church if he
thinks that anyone would speak, over the pulpit about a candidate or about a
party. When the Church gets involved, it is about issues, not about people and
not about parties. When an issue goes against the Doctrine given us from Christ
through His prophets, that issue is fair game. Just because Nazi Germany turned
their heads when moral issues came up does not excuse the rest of us from taking
a moral stand when ignoring that stand would nullify our belief in God and in
His Son, Jesus Christ.
Trapdinutah, I feel your pain. It is also difficult to read run-on
paragraph rantings and liberal diatribes here by those who claim membership in a
church whose every document extols the virtues of Biblical ethics and obedience
to the mandates of Jesus Christ...Not that knowing when to go to a
new paragraph will win over your opponents, but it reveals a soul unwilling to
abide by even the basics of universal grammatical rules. Why should they then
be willing to cooperate in the community of ideas?You would probably
be happier back in the European neighborhood of thinking. Just don't get caught
in a dictatorial one. They're really not fun.
This year more than most, this admonition from the LDS is wise. Either that or
the tea party will rule. They aren't in the majority, but they will win anyway
if LDS regulars don't go add their voice to the mix.
@ Mike RichardsSorry you didn't notice, Mike that I'm from Pleasant
Grove. I've been voting in Utah for the last 47 years, and am thoroughly
familiar with Utah history, politics, and idiosyncrasies.When the
"at-large" delegates in the county and state elections, they can
easily tip the majority. Have you done your homework so that you now know what
the total number of delegates in your county will be and what percentage will be
"at large" delegates not selected by the neighborhood caucuses?For example if 10% of all delegates were "at large" in a
county with a total of 100 delegates, then the neighborhood delegates would have
to be 55% in favor of something to avoid being vetoed by a potential block of
"at largers."If the "at large" delegates are 20%
of the delegates, then it would take a 60% of neighborhood delegates to for
something before they could assure passage.I watched this for years
affecting the selection of candidates, the platform, and especially the rules.
Then I just quit going.The primary you speak of doesn't always
happen, and it never affects the rules or the platform.
The church will get its' lapdog, even if 50 people turn out to the caucuses.
I hope the efforts to update the caucus -- hopefully replace it with a primary
-- will be successful. That will bump participation more than any plea.
@Informed VoterYour rant makes it clear that you are not informed at
all. It's pretty sad that you think there in an ulterior motive for this.
re:JThompsonLife-long active LDS member here. There was the
Sacrament meeting talk where the speaker quoted Reagan and another conservative.
The numerous lessons where people feel free to interject their political
beliefs. Some Sunday School and Seminary teachers my children had where the
teacher led discussions of a political nature. The political chain e-mails
(often false) that get passed around by ward members and leaders and then quoted
in classes etc. Just a few examples....Journalist's code of ethics
includes: "Test the accuracy of information from all sources
and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never
permissible." (Meanwhile, mostly every article last week
carried in the Deseret News about the healthcare mandate and contraception
stated that abortifacients were part of the mandate). "Make
certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video,
audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent.""Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting."Support the open exchange of views, even views they find
repugnant."" Examine their own cultural values and avoid
imposing those values on others.""Tell the story of the
diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is
unpopular to do so."
The caucus system needs to go. It is nothing more than a tool of the extreme
right to put their candidate in office or get rid of someone they don't like.
Example Bennett and Lee. The far right could care less about anyone else'
opinion. Governor Walker had an 80% approval rating and was voted out. The Tea
Party and the rest of the far right have to much influence in this state. They
are not the majority and they know it. That is why they staunchly defend such
an antiquated system.
But should LDS Democrats feel obliged to attend mass meetings in the vast parts
of the state where no democrat can be elected, e.g. Davis County and Utah
County. Will Democrats in such areas be blessed for attending their mass
meetings even though nothing practical can come of it. I think the Church's
remarks should be prefaced with a statememt something like this - attend your
mass meetings of such can be of practical use, i.e. electing somebody.
My first Bishop was a lifelong Democrat. I only know that because he and I were
particularly close. My current Bishop is a Republican. I know that only
because we are very close. The many others in between I have either not known
at all or could only suspect from a few comments here or there.Yes,
some folks (including me) do talk politics in the off moments at church. But I
cannot ever recall being asked about my party affiliation in any official or
even semi-official capacity. In meetings we are advised over and over again to
keep our political views to ourselves. When it has been my turn at the pulpit,
I have striven to keep to that standard.In my current ward and stake
I would assume there are folks of both parties. In the area where I live, the
older generation still includes many lifelong Democrats and the young are
generally more drawn to that party as well. In the middle, there is more of a
Republican bent. I assume that holds true within the church as well (but I
don't ask).As to how we should look at the various wars. May I
recommend President Hinckley's 2003 address titled War and Peace. I believe it
To many of you posting from the Utah experience, remember, there are several
states in the Union where things are totally reversed as far as the party
dominence. Try California, Washington, or try just about the whole east coast.
Republicans feel as outside in states like that as some of you Democrats might
here in Utah. It is just way things are in America and I like it that if you
want a more liberal or conservative state you are free to move there.
While I don't agree with his name, I agree with what "trappedinutah"
has to say about the whole caucus system. It is terrible in that it allows for
a very small but aggressive group to entirely control the democatic process,
especially in the rural areas of our state. Bob Bennett was a sacrificial lamb
at the alter of caucus politics and Oren Hatch will soon follow. I am not
extolling the virtues of career poiticians and my recollections were of Hatch
running against Frank Moss on the premis that he had been in office too long.
Oren, it is time to go, you can do it gracefully or be kicked to the curb. But back to the idiocy of this method. It needs to be changed and quickly
because there are many areas in Utah where the quality of local elected
officials has been compromised by someone who has enough activist friends that
they can circumvent the actual majority opinion of the electorate.
The average rank-and-file liberal generally has his heart in more or less the
right place. One of the better New Dealers characterized FDR's project as
"promoting Jeffersonian ends by Hamiltonian means" -- that is, using
the power of expanded government to uphold the ideal of the independent,
self-reliant citizen, who was seen as being threatened by the growth of large
industrial corporations.Unfortunately, my experience with the real
movers and shakers of modern liberalism, is that there is a vast gulf between
the average, idealistic liberal layperson, and the party professionals. The
party professionals are in the business of government -- nothing more or less.
It's their bread and butter, and when their livelihood is threatened, they
respond more or less as you'd expect a cynical, amoral, godless bunch of people
to respond in that situation: They attack the threat by any means necessary.
"We Democrats welcome our LDS brothers and sisters and appreciate their
opinions, hard work and values in our big tent Utah Democratic Party,"
Debakis said."Democrats are not blind to the fact that abortion
and homosexuality are condemned in God's holy books; they are there to give us
the option of following God's wisdom and warnings or ignoring them. We will
receive what we deserve.The helps that Democrats promote come with
the added cost of big government payrolls and fight against freedom that God
gives us to voluntarily help our family and neighbors in times of trouble. A
garden paradise lifestyle would easily provide for the needs of the poor to
continue being helped with gardens and food producing pets. God's people need
to want His glorious kingdom on earth now so we can be of one accord and have
all things in common without big government control forcing our helps and
enslaving us to taxes.
My experience with the real movers and shakers of either party is that there is
a vast gulf between the average person and the party professionals. The party
professionals are in the business of government -- nothing more or less. It's
their bread and butter, and when their livelihood is threatened, they respond
more or less as you'd expect a cynical, amoral, godless bunch of people to
respond in that situation: They attack the threat -- average citizens -- by
spreading fear, labeling and making gross generalizations.
Flashback..... really? We have a split government right now. Two houses, each
party has one they run. We have had a back in forth of representation in the
White house for over 50 years with no party dominating. How is it you make your
claim, when emperical evidence shows something completely different. At the
state level, when was the last time Utah had a split house? How about in Utah
valley, when was the last time you had a split baord.This fanetesy
world people have made up to support their feelings of persecution is ever so
puzzling to me. The one place there is no balance is in the state
of Utah. The current system is heavily rigged that a few determine the choice
of the many. Government isn't intended to be monolythic. When anyone suggest
that one party domination is the solution, that is when we know we are in
trouble. That is when power will corrupt. That is when you have things like
legislative bodies trying to hide what they are doing from the public like the
Utah senate passed last year, and then was embarrassed into repealing their law
providing a cloack of secrecy.I am not sure what the intentions of
the church are, but regardless, it is a good call as moderation comes when more
people are involved.