Well said. The caucus system only ensures the extremist republicans are on the
The best way to fix the problem with the caucuses is to eliminate them. At
least, with a primary election vote, a voter can be sure his/her vote goes where
s/he wants it to go. That's absolutely not true with a caucus.
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. This year the numbers are 2 or more times that
with 4000 state delegates and more than that county delegates. 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.
I know of an alternative to the caucus system that would:* allow
everyone who wanted to vote to have an equal say* disincentivize
"strategic voting" (e.g., voting for the candidate one considers
weakest)* accurately identify the community's preferred candidate
regardless of the number of candidates on the ballot* not require anyone
to attend a meeting at a specific time and placeIt's called
2 bits of Cottonwood Heights, UTBecause of the philosophy the people
of Utah, it is almost a sure thing that the person elected to the government
office will be a republican. Most voting people in Utah are conservatives and
most conservatives are republicans. Yet even among conservatives
there is different wants and desires from government. So in the caucus of 100
people, there are 100 different opinions. The election held at the caucus boils
that down to one or perhaps a few opinions that will be sent to the convention.
At the convention the buying, selling, trading of wants and desires
will eventually boil that down to one opinion per job available and that one
opinion probably will not be the one opinion to represent the other thousands
of opinions that were dropped along the way. Sorry about that
thinking part, I sure did think that when people voted in the caucus and the
convention, that was called an election.
Primary elections would work just fine. I am frustrated that I am left out of
the picture in voicing my opinion of political candidates because I was working
during the times the caucus meetings were being held. Caucuses seem to be set up
to exclude people who have other commitments they cannot get around to be at
those meetings. Allowing us to select from a larger pool of
candidate during a primary election would allow us all to have our voices heard.
We could arrange to vote during the day of the elections, and we could even vote
by absentee ballot if we happened to be out of town during the election.I understand we have a representative form of government, but I have
been afraid of the representation we have been getting at the caucus meetings in
Curt, I think I might know you. I remember a kid in my neighborhood that always
threw a temper tantrum and stormed off in tears when he didn't get his way
instead of sticking around and doing what he could to change the situation. You?
So, you'll go against your core values, beliefs, and ordinary commons sense
and vote straight opposite party line simply because you're not getting
your way? Nice. None of us have the perfect candidate to vote for, even if
we're fortunate to be a delegate in our respective political party
convention. Nor do we have that luxury in the general primary. They key is to
vote for the BETTER of the two, three, or four candidates. But you go ahead and
pull your "adult" temper tantrum. See how far that gets you.
Based on the comments so far, those supporting the caucuses seem to think there
is no other way to elect candidates. They don't see that the national trend
has been AWAY from caucuses and toward primaries. Participating in the
Republican caucus as a student was impossible; I can't be a delegate
because, like everyone I know under 25, I move a lot. Since the delegates
apparently don't have to commit, my vote doesn't matter to my party.
Even if this weren't the case, I don't know the rules , let alone how
to use them to discuss the issues. In fact, fewer than 5 people out of over 100
in my caucus did. Instead of this outdated, complicated process which is hostile
to the participation of your children and anyone else new in politics,
let's move to a primary system to select candidates. This will let
everyone, not just those already in political power, participate. If you
don't want to do this, please let your party leaders and the LDS Church
know, so they don't waste money trying to recruit us, shut down BYU on the
evenings of the caucuses, etc.
Ultra BobI wish YOU would think with your BRAIN for once (and not just
emotion). Hint... Caucuses are NOT an election. The campaigns and
the primary election and the final election come LATER. The caucus phase is not
the time to require a full election (where every person gets a vote).You are right that in an ELECTION every citizen who cares enough to show up to
vote has a right to select our community/state/nation's leadership. But
big hint... CAUCUSES ARE NOT AN ELECTION. It's a PARTY FUNCTION... to
select the candidates they will support for the general election.You
would have to be an idiot to not understand what a CAUCUS meeting is. Hint...
It's NOT an election!And to just blame everything on
"conservatives", "republicans", "business people",
"religious people", etc... is just LAME.The DEMOCRAT party
has caucuses too you know.
Party caucuses are simply a tool used by unscrupulous politicians to further
distance and isolate the voter from actually having a voice in government. Each
step in the representation process dilutes and weakens the voice of normal
people so that the party bosses, buyers and sellers of government can ply their
Three cheers for the man who actually thinks with his own brain.All
people, even us dummies, have a right to vote on the leadership of our
government. The notion of only the well informed should vote is a criminal
action against the Constitution of the United States. The vote of a
misinformed person, though he may have worked very hard to become informed, is a
thousand times worse than the vote of a merely uninformed person.Conservatives, republican, business people and even religious people are wrong
about freedom, liberty, rights and the American Constitution. Their taskmasters
spend billions of dollars to misinform them and point them in the wrong
Hey, all you fed-up Republicans, welcome to the Democratic party! Meanwhile,
Utah Republican party, don't change a darn thing!
@Mike Richards"Without the caucus, just how would the candidates for
the party be selected? Would the primary ballot have ten names on it? Do we want
someone who receives 10% of the ballots' cast to be the party's
nominee for the general election?"Seems to work just fine for
the presidential race and of course Romney's going to win the nomination
despite having only about 40% of the votes.
Caucuses are not always effective. But they are also not the worst way to
start the process of select the initial group of candidates. What method would
YOU suggest Curt? If you don't have a solution... maybe you should work on
that for a bit instead of spending your time just complaining.IMO
this year's Utah Republican Caucuses were quite ineffective. But the
reason isn't because caucuses are an inherently ineffective way to get the
citizens involved, educated and invested in choosing the primary candidates.
This caucus was different because it was dominated by ONE TOPIC, which polarized
our neighbors so much that no other topics mattered. I think 90% of the people
were there to either insure Hatch was NOT on the ballot, or to insure that he
WAS on the ballot.When it becomes a ONE TOPIC caucus... it does
become ineffective, because so many other REAL neighborhood issues and concerns
get ignored. Like you said... it's hard to find the delegates
that most represent you on most things... when all that is discussed is ONE
THING. That's what made this years Republican Caucus ineffective IMO.
I like the idea of the caucus, but the one I went to waas incredibly boring and
disorganized. Why do they have to spend all that time reading the rules?
Preposterous, we're adults, we can read them for ourselves. Let's hear
from the delegates, debate the issues, do something intelligent!
I always vote DEM in the local elections just for the reason that the inmates
are running the asylum in Utah. Once the Republicans made public education the
enemy of choice, I could no longer support them locally, seeing what they are
trying to do.I vote Republican nationally because I don't agree
with a lot of the Dems agenda on abortion and other things. But until
this state's republican party start strengthening our schools, I can't
support them. Sen. Osmond is giving me hope this year but it is
going to take a LONG time to get rid of what Stephenson and his gang have done
to our kids here in Utah. We need to elect some PRO public education (that
doesn't mean charters or vouchers) candidates that care about ALL of our
kids.Only then will I return to voting Republican in Utah's
elections.Many will blow this off as one person but there are a lot
of people in my area that feel the same way and they are finally speaking up.
To the letter writer: Sorry, but I find it hard to believe that you care much
about conservative principles if you're willing to abandon ship over this.
Also if you're unwilling to run as a delegate. It sounds like you just
want to complain, with no commitment. The caucus system works just fine, and
does not need to be changed.
Sad, but true.
I don't like the caucuses. Open them up for everyone. I get tired of living in an Oligarchy. I want freedom and Democracy.
The letter writer has set a new low in quality, and so has the DNews in
enabling. The letter adds little to the dialogue in any "thoughtful"
way. If you are a "conservative Republican" with the intent
to vote "straight Democratic" until this situation is resolved to your
satisfaction (which you leave undefined), then please return to your corner and
Without the caucus, just how would the candidates for the party be selected?
Would the primary ballot have ten names on it? Do we want someone who receives
10% of the ballots' cast to be the party's nominee for the general
election?The caucus system is fair. The people elect delegates to
represent them at the nominating conventions, just as we elect Congress to
represent us and our State. That is the pattern selected for a Democratic
Republic. Telling us that the system does not work, after only
spending one evening of an entire life at a caucus might be a little bit
presumptive. Just what didn't work? Did the letter writer do his homework
before attending the caucus? Did he attend town hall meetings? Did he contact
candidates? Did he talk with others in his precinct before attending the
caucus? Was he prepared to discuss issues and candidates. In a
Republic, the people have work to do BEFORE voting. It's not up to the
Party to decide who will run, it's up to the people.