Comments about ‘Letters: Vote against status quo’

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Published: Monday, May 27 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Utah_1
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Utah_1
Salt Lake City, UT

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, 1/2 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.

Constitutional_Conservative
CEDAR CITY, UT

Mona, We are a republic not a democracy. If you truly want a democracy may I suggest you move to Russia? Also if you want a democracy you shouldn't have a state representative, you should vote all decisions at the ballot box by the majority vote.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

The angry shouting extremists are in control.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

Mona:

If you want to change the system, you should do as the small minority of extremists has done who control the current GOP - get organized. Gayle Ruzicka has her phone tree. She has more power than nearly all of the Legislators in our state, and they quiver at the hint she may mobilize her phone tree.

If you're not organized and capable of delivering equivalent motivated numbers of like-minded voters, you're wasting your emotion and energy in what will be a fruitless endeavor.

I suspect most Utahns agree with you, but if they don't show up and muscle out the extremists, it doesn't matter if one Utahn agrees with you or 2 million.

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely. The disproportionate power possessed by a active minority in the GOP won't go quietly, without a struggle.

Pendergast
Salt Lake City, UT

to one vote on May 27

How else would Chaffetz & Lee get elected?

Utah_1
Salt Lake City, UT

Pendergast
Lee and Chaffetz won the party nominee in a primary. Lee only got 43% of the delegate vote in the last round. Tim Bridgewater got 57%. Breidgewater got Bennett endorsement for the primary. Lee still won.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

If the caucus system was so wonderful and prevented big name, big business, richie, career politicians from winning, then why is that ALL we have representing us?

Where are all the Joe Sixpacks? I don't see any "average" joe representing us in our state or national delegation. Mike Lee, Hatch, Chaffetz, Lockhart, Bramble, Stephansen, Herbert, etc all seem big name rich etc to me.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Mona,
That's the beauty of this system... IF enough people in your neighborhood agree with you... you all vote and select the delegates you want (whether it's because they commit to vote the way you want on this or ANY issue).

Another beautiful thing is... if nobody at the meeting represents your point-of-view... you can volunteer youself, and IF enough people want you to represent them at the convetion... you will be there representing them. I think that's cool. I just have never got up the guts to volunteer.

Something to think about... How much say do you have to pick who represents you at the DEMOCRAT Convention??? (hint... the answer is ZERO). There is no citizesn involved selection process for the people who go to the Democrat Convetion (where their primary candidates are selected). Convention is made up of party-officials (career politicians).

IF you succeed in destroying Utah's caucus system... it won't be replaced with a Primary to select the primary canidates. It will be replaced with a convention like Democrats have (manned by career politicians, not popularly elected delegates from all walks of life).

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The Real Maverick
You asked, "If the caucus system was so wonderful and prevented big name, big business, richie, career politicians from winning, then why is that ALL we have representing us?"...

I think you are confused. What you described is exactly what Democrats have at THEIR Convention. But nothing like the delegates at the Republican Convention.

If you are honest about it... Who attends and votes at the Utah Democrat Convention? (Hint... big business, richie, career politicians).

Who attends and votes at the REPUBLICAN Convention? My brother is a delegate (he's an accountant). His son is a delegate from his neighborhood (he's a software developer). My neighborhood selected 2. One was a realator, the other was a school teacher. What's so terrible about that?

What say did I have in who represented me and my neighborhood at the DEMOCRAT Convention??? (Hint, ZERO)

I have never been asked who I want representing me at the Democrat Convention. THAT's terrible.

Which group is more susceptible to coersion by richies, career politicians, big business? The accountant, software guy, realator and teacher? Or a convention of career Democrat big-wigs?

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Go ahead. Have a tantrum. Try to turn this Republic into a mob controlled Democracy. Demand that popular vote replace the Republic that we have. Tell the founders how stupid they were for keeping the mobs from voting directly.

After your tantrum's over, then get out your history book and look at what happened to pure Democracies.

SG in SLC
Salt Lake City, UT

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah
2:58 p.m. May 28, 2013

**************
"Go ahead. Have a tantrum. Try to turn this Republic into a mob controlled Democracy. Demand that popular vote replace the Republic that we have. Tell the founders how stupid they were for keeping the mobs from voting directly."
**************

So, in your opinion, the Citizens of the United States, as a whole, are a mob? That they(we) are the great, unruly, unwashed masses, generally not competent to make decisions (read: vote) regarding their(our) own governance??

How very elitist of you. Well, at least we have a (pseudo) omniscient one like yourself to look out for us mere mortals . . .

**************
"After your tantrum's over, then get out your history book and look at what happened to pure Democracies."
**************

Oh, I don't know -- I'd say that Switzerland does pretty well for itself, for the most part.

(Though, to be fair, there is really no real-world example of "pure democracy", just like there is no real-world example of "pure capitalism")

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Yes and get rid of the senate filibuster as well. We do not need obstructionists with minority radical agendas.

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