Comments about ‘Letter: Caucuses are a sham’

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Published: Sunday, March 25 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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On the other hand
Spanish Fork, UT

Well put.

PeanutGallery
Salt Lake City, UT

Yes, the caucuses were very much slanted this year toward the Senate race, but that only shows that people cared much more about that particular race this year, and not nearly as much about other races. So that's what most of the delegate selection was (and SHOULD have been) based on, because that's what the people cared about most. The caucuses work.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

How can so many people be so misinformed about the purpose of a caucus?

The caucus is the only time that the PEOPLE are involved in selecting people from their community who will choose those candidates who are acceptable to the people of the precinct.

The purpose of the caucus is NOT to vote on any candidate; it is to elect delegates who will vote on candidates at the nominating conventions. Trustworthy delegates from each community are elected to talk to the candidates, to listen to debates between candidates, to talk to the people of the precinct, and then to elect honest candidates at the nominating conventions.

If people go to a caucus thinking that the purpose of the caucus is to elect delgates who have taken a blood oath to elect Senator Hatch or any other candidate, those people have gone with the wrong purpose in mind.

The caucus is not some kind of pre-primary election. It is not the place where politicians pick the delegates; it is the place where the people tell the delegates to find an honest politician among all the candidates running for each office.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

More like a ponzi scheme.

GiuseppeG
Murray, Utah

The same could be argued about our representative form of government. It sounds like the author wants an ancient Greek style of democracy.

VST
Bountiful, UT

The Opinion Writer stated, "If, on the other hand, success is determined by voters' views being represented and carried out at conventions, then they are a dismal failure."

Dear Opinion Writer (Lynn F. Price),

It is NOT intended for the VOTERS VIEWS to be represented in a caucus. It is intended for the respective party MEMBERS VIEWS to be represented in a caucus. In that regard, the caucuses were a success.

As authorized by Utah Code 20A-8-401 (2) (c), it is the full legal right of each respective political party to define the method (rules) by which their nominees are chosen to be placed on the General Election Ballot for consideration by ALL voters. Only Republicans (not voters) are allowed choose Republican officers and convention delegates to represent "their views" on behalf of Republican Party members per those rules defined by the Republican Party.

PeanutGallery
Salt Lake City, UT

Re: Mike Richards: I agree with your reasoning. But my point is that some delegate nominees will come with leanings for or against a particular candidate, and that's okay. To expect otherwise would be unrealistic. And, actually, if no nominees have any pre-conceived opinions about any candidates, that's a potential bad sign that nobody is paying much attention to what's going on in government.

No, potential nominees should not come to a caucus with their mind completely made up. But if some nominees have certain candidate leanings, they should openly state those leanings. Then the attendees can take that into account in choosing the delegates, as long as they feel those delegates are trustworthy and will be diligent in vetting all the candidates (in spite of current leanings).

This year most nominees (and attendees) leaned either for or against Hatch, and didn't care nearly as much about the other races. Therefore, it was entirely okay for the attendees to give that factor a lot of weight as they made their delegate choices (again, as long as they felt that those delegates could be trusted to vet all the candidates).

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

This issue boils down to one simple question: is the caucus system the best way to fight political extremism? Clearly, the answer is no.

The caucuses of both major parties were dominated by extremists. The views of the vast majority of citizens were simply not represented. Anyone with a moderate viewpoint was either discouraged from attending or was shouted down.

The bottom line is this: political extremism is destroying this Country. The caucus system is a part of this destruction, and thus, must be eliminated.

VST
Bountiful, UT

@John Charity said, "Anyone with a moderate viewpoint was either discouraged from attending or was shouted down."

Your opinion John or do you have proof this happened in the majority of the caucuses?

No one in our caucus was shouted down or not allowed to express their viewpoint (moderate or otherwise).

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

Only the election for the people's chamber, the House of Representatives, was originally chosen directly by the People.
Nowadays it is different of course, Senators are also elected directly. Pursuing the same direction there seems to be a clamor for direct popular elections every time someone is to be chosen for public office or to be a candidate for elective office.

I disagree entirely with a Primary in which a popular vote determines who the candidates for election shall be, and, especially as far as the Senate race is concerned, the full slate of candidates was largely unknown anyway making any thoughtful, intelligent choice impossible.

I must say that the ads aired by KSL Radio didn't help, those in which KSL listeners were being directed to go to their caucuses for the express purpose of
"voting for Orrin Hatch". I am afraid that the very ads on KSL are sometimes regarded as directions from God, and not a paid advertizement for a political candidate or supporting organization.

Furry1993
Clearfield, UT

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.

Taylor
Orem, UT

I totally agree that the caucuses are a sham. At my caucus, we did mention the other offices that delegates will elect, but that was about as far as it could go--;mention. At least that occurred and we got a minimal expression of who the "candidates" would support. However, all registered voters should get to vote for the actual candidates. And why, if we elect delegates to conduct business at the convention, can they vote by secret ballot? All of this is clearly a hijacking of our rights, our votes, our representation in government.

The Tea Party is supposedly named after the Boston Tea Party, a group who revolted because of taxation without representation. Yet, the modern Tea Party would disenfranchise voters and reinstate taxation without representation.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I have to agree with the observations in this opinion. But only if this was the only caucus you have ever attended. Most caucuses are not like this year's (where one issue dominated the caucus "Will you vote to nominate Hatch").

Usually people want to hear the potential convention delegate's thoughts on a myriad of topics (not just if they will vote for Hatch or not).

THIS caucus was a joke... unless all you cared about was Hatch (for or against).

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

John Charity Spring,

Caucuses are not INTENDED to fight against political extremism.

Hint... The founding fathers of the United States were seen as "Politica Extreemists" in their day. Especially by the royal crown in England.

The caucus system was never intended to be a tool to keep "Revolutionary" or "Politically extreem" views from being expressed... or to insure that the crown's people always got nominated and elected.

I think it's a GOOD thing that the caucus system allows even people with what the ESTABLISMENT calls "Extreem" views to express themselves AND be represented.

If it weren't for "Political Extreemists"... the United States would STILL be called "New England", or maybe even "New France" today.

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