The 60% threshold to avoid a primary works, allowing a shot of a challenger to
eliminate an incumbent and yet requires a challenger to be a strong
candidate.Based on the state gop released stats since 2000 for state
wide or congressional races, at 60%, threshold to avoid a primary, 47% of
contested races went to primary. If at 2/3, 67% of contested races go to a
primary and at 70%, 70% of the races go to primary.70% would not
have helped Sen. Bennett in 2010. He was not in the top 2 coming out of
convention. In fact the more moderate Tim Bridgewater was selected by 57% of the
delegates in the last round. Mike Lee managed to get 43% and make it to a
primary. Sen. Bennett endorsed Tim Bridgewater during the primary, but with
voters ticked at TARP and ObamaCare, they went with Mike Lee.Sen.
Hatch just barely missed eliminating Dan Liljenquist by hitting just under the
60%, and Jason Chaffetz just missed eliminating Chris Cannon by hitting just
under 60%.The current system does not protect the incumbent, wealthy
or famous. I think that is a good thing.
One of the principles of those wanting to gut the neighborhood election caucus
meeting and convention system we have in Utah, was this: " A system that
provides inherent advantages to those who are incumbent, wealthy or famous is
not acceptable."The problem is their proposals would do exactly
that.The Caucus System in Utah 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 120,000 republicans in Utah that went to the neighborhood
caucus elections in 2012 to elect the 4000 State Delegates. Add to those numbers
the democrats and the primary elections. Certainly the municipal elections
didn't do any better in voter representation.Bypassing the
Caucus / Convention System will NOT create more participation. There are 4000
state delegates that spend countless hours vetting candidates to be on the
ballot. They are selected by those that attend the neighborhood election caucus
meeting. You just have to attend.The current system does not protect
the incumbent, wealthy or famous. I think that is a good thing.
I agree with Utah_1. The current system works just fine. We are a Republic.
The Utah Republican caucus system represents that principle. The most important
vote that we can cast is at the caucus when we elect delegates to represent our
precinct at the nominating convention. Those who bemoan the fact
that they can't vote for the candidate of their choice at the primary
election are those who did not participate in the caucus. If change
is needed, that change should be limited to finding a way to allow those
registered republicans who cannot attend the caucus to vote electronically or by
some kind of absentee ballot or to give another voter in their precinct proxy
authority to cast a ballot for their preferred DELEGATE.At the last
caucus, there was excellent turn-out, but many who showed up to vote had not
done their homework and were not prepared to cast an informed ballot. Voters have a duty. Coddling people does not promote responsibility.
The ONLY time the caucus system has proven to be a "thorn in the side"
of incumbents was the 2010 election when Bob Bennett was ousted. He was a RINO
who voted with Dems. at least as many times as he voted Republican that's
why he didn't get to keep his job.Democrats, and those in the
media who would like to stay with the "elitist" candidate get upset when
THEY can't determine who is and who isn't elected.Change
is upsetting to some. Might as well get used to it.Politicians are
answerable to the PEOPLE, not the media.
People are starting to catch on. Even the more sensible members of the GOP.
They see the likes of Lee and Hatch in office and realize we could do much
better.If they feel they have lost their voice in the party, maybe
they will switch parties. I personally know several long time Republicans who
have done just that.Maybe someday Utah's GOP will wake up and
find themselves out in the cold.
The GOP said it best when they said, "our founding father didnt like
democracy and neither do we."There ya have it folks! Your Utah
repubs don't like Democracy! Need we see more?
Don't change from the current system. We have a system in
place that makes it possible to limit the number of terms of the representation.
If legislators have to worry about the possibility that they might not be
reelected, then perhaps they might listen to their constituency more. Hatch was
threatened and had to organize and actually listen to his public. (He seemed a
bit annoyed that he had to do this)
Maybe someone should tell Maverick that we live in a Democratic REPUBLIC where
we elect delegates to represent us. We selected the Republican form of
government to keep "mob rule" to a minimum. I agree with the Founding
Fathers. They did their homework and knew the difference between a Democracy
(like ancient Greece) and a Republic. Maybe if Maverick recited the Pledge of
Allegiance he would remember "and to the Republic . . . "
I have heard Utah Republicanism characterized as a desperate ideology of
self-serving expediency masquerading as the "Constitution." Too bad it
can't better represent the good people of Utah.
The problem is that both systems have inherent weaknesses.The
democratic primary referendum system has a tendency to become a popularity
contest, and favors the wealthy, the famous, and incumbents. On the other hand,
the representative/republican caucus delegate system favors the underdog, but is
also highly susceptible to being hijacked by fringe elements (themselves
underdogs) who are adept at procedural manipulation. Consequently, you get a
carpetbagger like Senator Hatch, who was originally elected when the Republican
caucuses and primaries were open, and who is riding incumbency well into his
sunset years, or an ultraconservative "hired gun" like Senator Lee, who
was heavily backed by adept and well-connected fringe element
"kingmakers" in the state GOP.What is needed is a balanced
system that incorporates the broad participation of an open primary with the
ability of an underdog to legitimately compete that comes with the
caucus/delegate system. Of course, the devil is in the details, and I'm
not sure what precise form such a system would take, but its primary feature
would be a level playing field for all candidates.
We hold caucuses. Too few people bother to show up. So which solution do you
think makes sense: 1) get rid of the caucuses or 2) start showing up? I'm for the second option.
Can the current system be made better, yes, but don't gut it.We
need to make sure the Utah neighborhood election caucus system is set up so it
could be done in 2 hrs. and we get the election results, not just back to the
county and state, but to those that missed it so they can still contribute and
let their elected delegates and precinct leaders know what they think. The
person that got a babysitter for 2 hrs to attend their neighborhood caucus
should be able to vote.
The GOP is frankly afraid they will lose power in a true democracy where there
is 1 person = 1 vote. Mountainman loves a "republic" apparently even
though it's a compromise of the tenets of personal freedom. We have the
means to give everyone their vote now....Nothing but shame Utah.
It's interesting to see how many Democrats feel the need to tell
Republicans how to nominate republican candidates. You would think that
Democrats would spend their time finding their own candidates instead of
bad-mouthing Republicans and the process that registered Republicans use to
nominate candidates. What difference does it make to a Democrat how the
Republicans nominate a candidate - unless the Democrats want to vote for the
weakest Republican in an open primary?
Utah has some of the nation's lowest voting rates due to the lack of
Democracy in Utah. The average Utahan realizes that their vote does not count.
We have more in common with Cuba and China than we do with the other states.
Let's open upon the process and have our State governed by moderate
Republicans and conservative Democrats!!
There could very well be a democrat candidate if republicans in Utah didn't
keep gerrymandering and choke holding democracy there. Just like
many supposed "republican" states Utah isn't all red. You might be
very surprized Richards who Utah would vote for if they had more choices.
Government Man, that is one excellent comment! You nailed it.
As a Democrat, I hope the GOP hangs onto their caucus system, because it
produces representation far to the right of Utahns, in general, which leads to
disgust with the Legislature, an insular sense of invincibility by the GOP
politicians, and rising anger among increasing numbers of Utahns.It
will take a large amount of anger to dislodge the GOP hegemony, given the unique
demographics in Utah, but it's becoming more within reach,, given the
results of the existing system, and enough foolish and corrupt moves by an out
of touch Legislature that try to out do each other with really marginal
ideas.Utah is really closer to 60% Republican, and more and more of
them are defecting. GOP politicians act like they reign over Utah, who is lucky
to have them.Keep the existing system, by all means.
Wow, those republicans! They should be just like the Democrats! That way there
wouldn't BE any grass roots to force them to hold the line. If we could
just make all the republicans be democrats. That would be one way for the
Democrats to get back in power so they could bankrupt the state like other great
blue states.Getting ANY participation from the voters is a plus in
my book. With the neighborhood Caucus, I at least can talk about what I think
is important, and push for those who I think would represent my views. Oh, we
can't have that...With a primary system, only those who have
the cash and the media will be able to hold office. The Media LOVED Benson, and
still LOVE Hatch who now he is elected once again, is back to his "Democrat
Wouldn't it be appropriate for the Deseret News and the rest of the media
to declare a conflict of interest when advocating for more state wide primary
elections? After all they will earn big bucks from expensive campaigns with
their print ads and television sound bites. When there is no primary, all of
this revenue is lost.The fact is that the DesNews and the "Buy
My Vote" crowd are pushing for a system that favors incumbents, candidates
with lots of money and individuals with high name recognition.
@Government Man,I'm so tired of hearing that excuse! "I
don't vote, because my vote doesn't count" is the lamest excuse a
society can give for giving up on democracy! It's like saying, "I
don't play because my team doesn't win". It's pathetic,
lazy, and apathetic. If 50-75% of voters showed up to their caucuses instead of
the 10% we got on a phenomenal record year, I guarantee that all of the
complaints above would be addressed (except for when people in the minority
don't get their way). Too many 'sideline players' think that
voting once or twice a year is the only civic duty they have and then complain
when their voice is not heard.Harsh, I know and I'm sorry. But
I still think I'm right.
When I go to the polls, in both a primary and general election, I know that the
vote I cast will go to the person for whom I voted, regardless whether that
person wins or loses. I know that my vote will be counted. That is not true for
a caucus. At a caucus, I can't even be sure that the people seeking votes
to be delegates to the conventions know who THEY wil vote for, much less that
the vote will be what I want it to be. That is not acceptable to me.It's time to use primaries and not caucuses.BTW -- I'm a
Republican, having joined the party in the early 1970s. In saying what I say
here, I'm "speaking" for the best interest of my country's and
state's voters AND my party. It's time to get the party elite (and
party radical extremists) out of control, and return control to the voters.