Comments about ‘Readers' forum: New political system’

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Published: Tuesday, March 20 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Sheryl,
I cannot speak for all caucuses, but at the one I attended, the elected delegates were not committed to any particular candidates, though they did indicate their current inclinations. They also indicated they were eagerly awaiting hearing from those in the precinct, whether they were able to attend the caucus or not.

If you want your voice heard, find someone who was able to attend the caucus, find out who the delegates are, and let them know your opinions. It may not be the solution you are after, but it beats sitting back and complaining.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

I met many friends and neighbors who attended by themselves.

9/10 times it was the Father/Husband – while the wife stayed home with the kids due to it being a school night, lack of baby-sitters, and the Caucuses ran well past 10 o’clock [we even had 1 precinct adjourn after midnight.].
Like most things Republican – Women were once again completely disenfranchised.

Welcome to Utah, turn back your clock 100 years.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

LDS Lib
Do you really think the husbands dictated to their wives that the wives stay home and the husbands go? Is your view of Utah so small that the concept that maybe the spouses came to the conclusion of who would attend by mutual consent never occurred to you? Do you really hate us that much?

Maybe it is where you live. Our caucus chair was a mother, her husband was home with the school-age child. Most people at my caucus were in couples.

Hellooo
Salt Lake City, UT

Ms Allen appreciate your point of view. However, the process for a political party to choose its candidates to present to the people to be voted upon, in my opinion should be that of the political party. Then, one person, one vote for whomever you want to elect is fine.

Personally, I like the current system as it involves party members at the neighbor level in the process. System with direct popular vote tend to reduce the roles of such local involvement.

PeanutGallery
Salt Lake City, UT

Our caucus system works just fine and does not need to be changed. If we get rid of it, this will only give disproportionate power to incumbents with lots of money.

Also, Sheryl, if someone had tickets to an event that night, then political involvement probably wasn't very high on their priority list.

goatesnotes
Kamas, UT

There are two concepts the caucus/nominating convention process puts on full display.

The first is democracy, where a simple majority rules. That's how the delegates in the caucus are chosen.

The second is the representative republic, where the delegates go forward to choose the nominees who will appear on the ballots for the general election.

Then in the general election the one who garners the most votes wins.

In Utah, we have the opportunity to participate the purest form of government our founders envisioned.

In 2010, those who lost were cantankerous with the bitter defeat of Senator Bob Bennett. The charges and counter-charges were almost never-ending. The caucus system is broken, we need direct primaries, the party has been high-jacked by the extremists from the right, the Tea Party has co-opted the moderate wing of the party, we have had our voices silenced, etc., etc. An alternate path to getting on the ballot was proposed. Change the rules, those who were upset about the result demanded.

In 2012, in the aftermath of what looks like a huge blow being struck by the incumbent, Senator Orrin Hatch, what do we hear. . . wait for it. . .

Silence.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

In a perfect system, every eligible voter would know the issues and the candidates' stand on those issues. Each voter would attend his caucus. Each voter would vote for and elect delegates who were open-minded to the wishes of the members of their precinct. Each delegate would contact each candidate and thoroughly vet that candidate by comparing that candidate's record to his authorized duties. Each delegate would welcome input from members of his precinct and each delegate would weigh the opinions of precinct members against the facts hat the delegate had collected.

To an extent that works in Utah. Some caucus attendees had no idea what the process was all about. Some of the neophytes asked questions and learned, but others came prepared to push their favorite candidate without hearing the wishes and concerns of other members of the precinct. Maybe that's just politics; but that attitude will never solve anything.

In our precinct, every delegate elected asked us to contact them with our concerns and with our viewpoints. That is the desired response from any elected representative. They can't please everyone, but they can listen carefully and represent the wishes of the majority.

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

Any system which caters to political extremists must be abolished. That is clearly the case here.

Extremists are quick to feed on the fears of the uneducated and uninformed. As long as the system allows mass participation by the uneducated and uninformed, extremism will triumph.

We need less participation by the masses, not more. We must confine important decision making to the elite who have demonstrated that they have the ability and determination to educate themselves about the issues. That is the only system that can defeat extremism.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

John,

How does one become a member of the "elite"? Is a college degree necessary? Is government service necessary? Who decides who is "uneducated" and who has "properly" prepared for his role in participating in the election process?

Granted, uninformed voters can cause a great deal of misery, but are we a nation of "elites" where only the "chosen few" have the privilege of casting a ballot?

I walked among the fallen in the cemeteries of Europe and in the cemetery of my home town, where brave men and women lost their lives to give ALL of us the opportunity to vote. Are their lives worthless? Did they, by giving their lives, tell us WHO could vote, and which schoolroom courses constituted sufficient knowledge?

The "right" to vote should never be part of an "elite" system where knowledge of issues and candidates is a prerequisite. Free people are free to make mistakes, whether those mistakes are made in the voting booth or in business. Learning from our mistakes is what makes us stronger.

All we need to do is to CAREFULLY review the results of past voting to know whether we made the right choices or not.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

So – In light of the Caucuses last Thursday;
how many of you anti-Hatch at any and all costs, Republican Party die-hards are going to quietly slither away, fall back in line, and vote for him again anyway…for a 7th time…for 42 consecutive years?

New System anyone?

PeanutGallery
Salt Lake City, UT

Re: LDS Liberal (your 8:26 a.m. post): You're really grasping to find things to criticize about Republicans, aren't you? It kind of makes the other on-line readers not take you very seriously.

higv
Dietrich, ID

Idaho has had that same problem. In counties of alrge republican populations it was crowded with one place to go to vote. I think there needs to be a syetem that allows fo rabsentee voting in the caucus. And put the places up at more than one location as well.

PeanutGallery
Salt Lake City, UT

Re: higv: There would be no reasonable way to protect the integrity of absentee caucus voting. This would open the way for rampant voter fraud by overzealous politicians who lack integrity. Fortunately the rules specifically prohibit absentee voting with caucuses.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Some suggestions:

. Develop, perfect and install a voting system that is easy, accurate and simple.

. Apportion government representation by political philosophy, desires or even religion, rather than by the residential address.

. Stop business interference, payments, contributions, and lobbying of government representatives and their election.

. Stop election campaigning. Require candidates to prepare and post a resume similar to that of employment.

. Consider lifetime appointments for government representatives. With employment packages that puts them above the hunger for illicit wealth.

. Did I mention that the voting system should be easy. Like each person having his own voting machine at home.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Survey the probable consensus of the caucus meetings now and compare the result to the convention and eventual election. Seems like it might help in determining if we should continue caucuses.

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

I like the caucus system better than primaries. The more of the people involved, however, that are honest, good people that inform themselves the better. Most people have been shown in survey after survey to be uninformed about crucial issues. Such crucial information does not so much come by attending institutions of higher learning, as they are called, but by basic literacy, honesty and common sense combined with dogged determination to get to basic facts.

"Basic facts" surely includes the names of all candidates, their voting records if incumbents, their actual not just reputed character, and information about the main issues over which candidates have influence.

Basic facts are often hard to come by; it seems great pains are taken to hide same and the "world wide web" itself often only yields its factual gems to the most determined "miners of truth".

The problems with both caucuses and primaries is that people are too easily "blinded by the cunning craftiness of men who lie in wait to deceive". Many of these men are politicians. Long-standing incumbents may be especially good at deceiving and always wear the appropriate lamb's clothing.

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