Published: Thursday, May 9 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
"The caucus system works because it gives average, ordinary people like me a
chance to serve my community at the grass-roots level"And this cool
thing called "voting" allows average, ordinary people a chance to vote
for the person THEY want, rather than voting for you and hoping that you choose
the person they support. As good as your intentions may be, I can guarantee
that as a delegate you voted for candidates that many people in your area would
not have voted for if they had the chance.
No... delegates are not evil.... they just many times are not representative
either. The system is rigged in a way that only like minded people have a
voice. Not unique to Utah.... but Utahan's know better than to allow a
system of exclusion to persist.Everyone benefits from vibrant
debate. A one sided debate end up in a very warped system.
You don't need representatives to vote for representatives to vote for
representatives....Give each Utah'n their own vote. What in the
world are you afraid of, democracy?
so you go to the caucus and elect two delegates to the state convention. the
caucus members, in straw polling, vote 51% for one senate candidate and 49% for
the other senate candidate. Since the former senate candidate polled the
majority, both delegates vote for the former, even though the latter got only 2%
less. that is hardly representative and why the caucus systems robs the
citizenry. Dump it and go to a primary.
Thank you, Mark. I couldn't agree more!@the old switcharoo,
yes! For the same reason why our Founding Fathers didn't create a pure
democracy. They knew that it was better to elect representatives to work
through the details and select what they felt best represents their constituents
or narrow it down for a simple vote than to bring everything to a popular vote.
It's not perfect, but the only thing wrong with it is apathy! How do you
expect to get good representatives when only 10% show up on a record breaking
year?I would rather give more of a voice to those willing to spend
their time and effort trying then giving everyone a voice on everything just for
Mark, you sound like a good guy. You are not the problem. The system is the
The problem I have with believing businessmen is that their words don’t
necessarily mean the same thing as when non-businessmen use those same words.
It is my contention that when a businessman talks about people he doesn’t
include non-businessmen in his meaning. The description of his
neighbors makes me think his neighbors are also businessmen. The reason
businessmen are passionate about government is because seemingly, they are the
only ones who are able to profit from government actions. Ordinary
people, of which I don’t see Mark Edwards as being, are mostly content to
take the crumbs that government sometimes hands out, and spend their time trying
to have the good life. They would rather take care of their own business rather
than run other people’s lives. Good government can only come
from people controlling their government. Caucuses, conventions, political
parties, are things that insulate people from their government and make our
republic a government by a tiny minority. I don’t think Mark
Edwards is a bad man. I think he is a good businessman.
The caucus system is not exclusionary, anybody who gives a fig can attend and
participate and get elected. Many do and then do nothing with it. The
folks wanting to change it are self serving with a lot of money, it is
relatively easy to convince Joe Sixpack to vote for you if you spend enough
money on ads. That also explains why media types want a different system. THEY
SELL ADVERSING! More money spent convincing said Joe Sixpack to vote for a pol
is spent on MEDIA. We have seen what we get when uninformed voters make
choices, and we have a pretty good idea what the current caucus system produces,
the best run state in the union. So, back off the caucus system and if you
want to make a difference, PARTICIPATE!
Mark Edwards sounds like every other delegate I have met since being a delegate
in Utah for the first time this year. He sounds like a good man, doing a job
that he was asked to do by his neighbors. And he is definitely a representative
of those who elected him. In America we have a representative government, not a
democracy, because we are not afraid to trust people. If you remember how
discouraging it was as a kid the first time you realized that only millionaires,
or those backed by millionaires, can run for President. In Utah anyone can run
for office. All you need is a list of delegates and a phone, because it's
actually possible to talk with them all. In other states you need loads of
money, the finest campaign staff money can buy, and hopefully the camera loves
you for your expensive commercials and quality airtime. And in those states, as
a candidate, you don't have to talk to any "regular" people. In
Utah you can be assured that all of the candidates have been met with, by
someone you know personally.
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.
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.
"So, back off the caucus system and if you want to make a difference,
PARTICIPATE!"I want to change the caucus system and I DO
participate. I have been a delegate multiple times over the years in BOTH
parties. Stop being such an elitist and acting like everyone that doesn't
like the caucus system is somehow uninformed or disengaged from civic
The delegates I know are like Mark. I do not know how you can "rig" all
caucus meetings so that someone with a particukar piint of view gets selected.
Senator Hatch spent $6M and with 18 months of effort could not secure the
nomination at convention. All it takes to get elected at caucus is a little time
and effort. Bring like minded friends who will support you. I just do not
understand how anyone can say that is exclusive. Seems very inclusive to me. The
beauty of the system is that it is very decentralized. In order to corrupt the
system you have to corrupt hundreds of individual precincts. If it were
corrupted then it really wouldn't matter what was put in its place because
it would mean that the people as a whole were corrupt.
The caucus system works. Every year, because I am very politically active at
least 20 people call me when they are in the voting booth to ask me who they
should vote for. I don't totally fault them, they should have taken the
time to do their own research but many don't. This proves my point, let
delegates who are engaged and that you trust do the research,vett the candidates
and vote for who would be the best.
First of all, thanks Mark for being a diligent delegate. I believe there is
nothing wrong with high information voters. As some comments have noted, the
caucus and convention system allows for grassroots participation, countering
name recognition based and money backed media campaigns. It has been said we
get the government that we deserve; more citizens serving in the caucus and
conventions system, and indeed, politics as a whole will help us to earn better
government. It is our republic; let us keep it!
ISRRED -- You have input, as much as you want with your elected state delegate.
But most "average" citizens honestly don't have the time to do
this year after year. This takes countless hours, research, meetings, to meet
with all of the candidates for all of the offices. The state delegate has a
major job, and they are SERVING their community by taking on that role. Sadly,
many of the delegates who got involved this last time had a one mission purpose
in the Republican party ... elect Orrin Hatch. Their job is much bigger than
that. Electing delegates at your neighborhood meeting is something
that proves our Republic (not a democracy) works. We elect at the most local
level, and each level is supposed to hold the next level accountable. If we
could get this system right, the neighborhoods would recall their city
councilmen who go over budget, the councilmen would recall the county leaders,
the county leaders would recall the state leaders that fail in their
responsibilities. Local is where all the power should be. If we go to a direct
primary, only money wins, and your voice is watered down into nothing.
"Ordinary people, ..., are mostly content to take the crumbs that government
sometimes hands out, and spend their time trying to have the good life."The government is the source of our prosperity? The government gets its
money from we then people and any money we receive from it came from someone
else. The governments role is not to redistribute money."They
would rather take care of their own business rather than run other
people’s lives."Are you saying that those who chose to get
involved in grassroots politics want to run other peoples life. While that may
be true of some, the majority of those involved want to ensure that "we the
people" have a say in who are elected officials are and hold them
accountable for their actions. Do you think that those who don't care about
politics will take the time to make informed decisions? Aren't they more
likely to be influenced by 30 second sound bites and media buzz than to base
their views of candidates on independent research?
"The problem I have with believing businessmen is that their words
don’t necessarily mean the same thing as when non-businessmen use those
same words. It is my contention that when a businessman talks about people he
doesn’t include non-businessmen in his meaning."I'm
puzzled by the above remark. If someone is not a businessman then they are
employed by one. Even civil service jobs are funded by tax dollars that come
from businesses, businessmen or people who are employed by businessmen.
Businessmen all have mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children and friends,
and employees who come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Personally, I value
the opinions of those who create jobs, stimulate the economy and take a lot of
personal risk in doing so. They generally are able to see issues from a broad
Delegates to elect delegates get into the good ol boy network and get politcal
influence under the system.
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