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Comments about ‘In our opinion: Democratic Party wants to retain its archaic caucus system’

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Published: Tuesday, July 2 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Utah_1
Salt Lake City, UT

The caucus system in Utah is the best way to make sure a grassroots process can win over large amounts of money. It is the only way someone with $100,000 can go against someone with $2 million in election funds.

We have a system that that does NOT favor the incumbent, wealthy or famous. This is a good thing.

Our only problem with voter turnout is it has not kept up with the population increase. The voter turnout keeps going up but not as fast as the population. Some of that is the younger voters, where Utah has a larger percentage of them and they aren't, as a group, as involved. Some of that are those moving in and not understanding our system.

Utah_1
Salt Lake City, UT

If you are going to run as a Democratic candidate, you have to comply with their rules. If you are going to run as a Republican, you have to comply with their rules. If you want to run and not have those rules, you can run as an unaffiliated or independent, or run as a 3rd party candidate. “Count My Vote” is attempting to change all party rules by changing state laws by initiative, thus bypassing the political parties and the Legislature.

We already have a "bypass" system. It is called filing as an unaffiliated candidate. You go straight to the general election. So if some don't think they can win if vetted by average citizens asking one on one questions, they can run that way and spend the money. Why should they be a party nominee if they are going to bypass the party?

There were about 120,000 Republicans in Utah that went to the neighborhood caucus elections in 2012 to elect the 4,000 state and even more county delegates.

We have a system that that does NOT favor the incumbent, wealthy or famous. This is a good thing. Keep fair elections in Utah.

truth to be Told
Orem, UT

Have you ever wondered why this newspaper along with its sister TV station is losing subscribers? All you have to do is read this article to understand why.

More primaries mean more advertising dollars on TV, radio and newspapers. It’s simple business here and money is the root of the problem. I find it quite ironic this editorial complains about the power vested on the delegate system when it is the same media, including this newspaper, driving public opinion to convict and impeach Utah’s AG John Swallow by publishing one sided accusations against him. It is the same media that has been silent on so many atrocities committed by illegal immigrants that go unreported. We can say the same regarding Common Core, Utah’s fight to gain access to its Federal lands to extract natural resources and just about every conservative principle involved in politics.

Delegates study the issues, get educated, stay involved in the process, hold elected officials accountable and volunteer their service for 2 years. At the end of their term they may run again or may be replaced by new elected delegates at caucus night. You decide, power to the media or to the people?

Mark l
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

This opinion piece sounds like sour grapes. How dare that the people vote to keep the current caucus/convention system. According to powerful elites, the local yokels don't understand what is good for them. They need to vote again until they make the right choice. How dare they decide to keep a system that makes it relatively easy to get rid of incumbents. Serving in government should not be a lifetime job.

isrred
South Jordan, UT

Headlines railing against the Democratic party when the Republican party did the same thing? Biased much???

Cherilyn Eagar
Holladay, UT

This is a paper owned by a Church that, in its Sunday School Manual, defines our form of government as a Constitutional representative republic, not a democracy. It appears there's a difference of opinion with its own newspaper editorial board. There's a serious misunderstanding. The caucus system is the constitutional representative election system that the states used to have. It is the MOST inclusive and the closest to the people. It is a grassroots system that gives neighbors the opportunity to meet directly with the candidates and make decisions together. Those leading the campaign to eliminate the caucus are promoting the systems that California, Connecticut and Colorado use. The irony is that, when I've explained our system to their leaders, they have told me how damaging their own systems have been to the Republican Party in those states. While the elite in Utah who want only rich and famous candidates to run and win - and the news agencies who make millions off ads and elections by sound bite - want to be California, Connecticut and Colorado, California, Connecticut and Colorado want to be Utah! Go figure.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "The caucus-convention system is a fundamental deterrent to inclusion, delivering disproportionate influence to the members of the exclusive club of caucus-goers . . . ."

And who can go to a caucus? Anyone!

Doesn't sound real exclusive to me.

The big advantage to the caucus system is that important decisions about who will run for office, and who the parties will support, are made in the open. Machine politics, on the other hand, is played out in closed, smoke-filled backrooms.

Opposition to the caucus system is opposition to the concept of open, honest, democratic government.

So, it's no wonder machine politicians are opposed.

EDM
Castle Valley, Utah

If both parties are guilty, why is it only the Democratic Party named in the headline?

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

Machine politics/politicians are ok as long as only Republicans do it.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "truth to be Told" you shoud tell the truth. According to PRWeb, the DN was the 3rd fastest GROWING newspaper last year. See "Deseret News Ranks as Third Fastest Growing Newspaper in U.S. and Largest in Utah with 88 Percent Sunday Circulation Growth" at PRWeb.

The TV station does not have subscribers as it is a free over the air TV station.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Irrespective of whether you love or hate the caucus system, the editorial is consistent in that the Deseret News has railed against the caucus system for the Republicans and is now just returning the favor for the Democrats.

Why now? I assume because the Utah Democratic Party Organizing Convention just got over about a week ago and this is now ripe for discussion.

Seriously folks. Look a little deeper. This is a consistent editorial stance against the caucus system generally. You may disagree and prefer the caucus system. No problem. But don't accuse the paper of not hitting both the Republicans and the Democrats on the same issue.

Strider303
Salt Lake City, UT

The caucus system is representative democracy in action. Those who want to participate get off their dime and attend. They vote for representatives and on business. I have attended, ran for delegate, won and lost, gone door to door groveling for dollars and handed out flyers and posted signs in my yard. Yeah, I am old, and I began going to caucus meetings in my twenties.

I object to the DesNews editorial board's elitist attitude that the caucus is not inclusive. We include anyone who shows up, but if the great unwashed masses are too tuned into reality TV and computer games, I respect their choice to stay home.

An informed participative electorate is what is critical in a democracy. Most people in Utah cannot name their representative, senators or state officials. Some are marginally literate and have not read a book without pictures in the past year, if at all. They surely don't subscribe to or read a newspaper.

These people are a danger to democracy as their ignorance is easily swayed by the mega-bucks advertising that fuels TV, Radio and Newspaper coffers.

I think the bottom line swayed the editorial board in this one.

Cats
Somewhere in Time, UT

If Democrats can't get LDS members they have no one to blame but themselves.

Sandy
Salt Lake City, UT

Great comment, Twin Lights.

I am so surprised that almost none of the comments here agree with the editorial--all Republican insiders and suspicious Dems, it appears. As a regular attender of the caucus meetings, I've found them to be frustrating to impossible since the day I turned 18 and started attending back in the 80's.

I have seen more moderate Republicans run off the tracks in my neighborhood caucus meeting than could possibly be rejected in a wide election. Many decisions are made in advance among insiders and old timers. I've heard those who regularly attend and seek to be elected delegates mention their support of Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh in their credentials, and sadly, a great majority of those in attendance accept that as a credential, and elect them! That's how the party has been defined for decades now. And that's why regular people quit attending. It's uncomfortable and often useless to confront and argue with your neighbors about these things.

I say away with the caucus system, and thanks, Deseret News, for taking a stand in support of the the wider citizenry.

FDRfan
Sugar City, ID

"Both parties in Utah voted this year to retain caucus systems that are unique in the United States, and the recipient of valid criticism on grounds they relegate voters to a backseat position in the journey to name prospective office-holders."

I find it quite ironic that in the state where the voices declaring that the Constitution is "hanging by a thread" are the loudest and the shrillest, you find the most effective efforts to rip the Constitution apart. Redistricting in Utah and the caucus system fly in the face of the government that our founding fathers had in mind.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

The caucus system ensures that whomever the Seagull Forum supports, will be elected.
Of course the headline indicates it's only the dems who do it, when in fact the abuse is all on the repub side.

Utah_1
Salt Lake City, UT

FDR,
Utah has has not had its redistricting submitted to be decided by a judge. Idaho can't say that. How well is that working for you?

The State House redistricting map had 74 of 75 house members vote for it. The house member that voted against it won.

In 2012 Utah, we have primaries: Hatch/Liljenquist, Dougall/Johnson, Swallow/Reyes, McCartney/Valdez, Okerlund/Painter, Vickers/Anderson, Perry/Galvez, Redd/Butterfield, Anderegg/Moore, Handy/Crowder, Macdonald/Bagley, Sagers/McCoy, Kennedy/Nitta, Muniz/Henrickson, Stratton/Murray, Christofferson/Kane, Greene/Stevens, Layton/Daw, Nelson/Wright, Westwood/Carling, and Crockett/Winder, to name a few. Not every race had a primary nor should it. Most of those were GOP primaries.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . those who . . . seek to be elected . . . mention their support of Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh . . . and sadly, a great majority of those in attendance accept that as a credential, and elect them!"

The saddest thing about that quote is that an American would think it's sad that the candidate supported by "a great majority" would be elected.

That's called participatory democracy! It's the shining example we have to offer the rest of the world. It's what makes America, America.

Only those beholden to, or hip-deep in, anti-American machine politics would shed a tear over the election of the people's choice.

FDRfan
Sugar City, ID

Utah has has not had its redistricting submitted to be decided by a judge. Idaho can't say that. How well is that working for you?

It is working about the same way Utah Republicans want it to work in Utah - one party rule.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

The current system has been in place for a long time. So how come the Deseret News is so alarmed by it now? That question I can answer. The tea party movement has effectively seized the Republican Party away from the Deseret News and related organizations. No doubt to date the most alarming event in this takeover has been the dumping of Senator Bennett. I don't think this is a good enough reason to change the system, at least by the lights of what the D-News has approved in the past.

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