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Comments about ‘Letters: Count My Vote returns power to the people’

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Published: Monday, Oct. 21 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Utah_1
Salt Lake City, UT

Utah's Neighborhood Elections force candidates to pay attention to rural areas of Utah. Direct primaries encourage candidates to ignore rural areas and communicate only by paid advertising. A direct primary would create fly-over areas of Utah that will rarely get to meet their candidates face to face.

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

The Neighborhood Election and Convention 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.

Utah_1
Salt Lake City, UT

At only one time for 10 years in Utah’s history did the state depart from the Neighborhood Election, Caucus and Convention System. In 1937, a powerful democratic state senator convinced enough of the legislature to switch to an open primary. He had had two losses, a US Senate race and also for governor, because the majority of the convention delegates disagreed with his legislative voting record. But he was well known and had money.

Many at the time felt like an open primary was his ticket to the governorship, and he did win. But the change in the system only lasted for a decade. After public and media disillusionment, and even worse voter turnout, Utah restored the Caucus and Convention System. Why go back?

Count My Vote / Buy My Vote doesn't even propose a run off. We at least had that in 1937.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Senator Lee and his congressional Utah followers have given the "Count my Vote" new life to reject radical tea party influence.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The only way to give the power to the people for government is to eliminate the effect of big money. Elimination of the caucus system gets rid of only one of the voter dilution schemes of the unscrupulous politicians. Political parties with their business sponsors will still be the people who control elections results.

Only when individuals can compete with each other fairly will a people’s representative be elected. That requires either that we get rid of the political campaign or that we let government control all the campaigns.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Who decides who will run for office under the "primary system"? Not you and not me. The well funded parties will decide. They will put on the ballot those people who have made their party powerful, regardless of the wishes of you and me. They will put the incumbant on the ballot, whether the people want that imcumbant to run for office or not.

The sheep, who follow along blindly, will vote the wishes of party leaders, perhaps thinking that those party leaders are somehow endowed with special knowledge about politics. What they are endowed with is the lust for power. They want control of the process. They want control of the candidates. They want to dictate to the people who will rule and reign.

There is no evidence that people will be informed before casting a ballot in a primary. That exactly what the party leaders want - an uninformed electorate. People who will "go along to get along". They want "king men" because they are "king men" themselves.

Utah_1
Salt Lake City, UT

One vote,
Whether you like Sen. Mike Lee or not you should consider the following:

re: Sen. Bennett in 2010. He was not in the top 2 coming out of convention. In fact the more moderate of the two, Tim Bridgewater was selected by 57% of the delegates in the last round of voting by the delegates. If he had received 60% Tim Bridgewater would have been the party nominee and Mike Lee would have been eliminated.

Sen. Bennett endorsed Tim Bridgewater during the primary, but with voters ticked at TARP and ObamaCare, they went with Mike Lee.

Sen. Mike Lee was the party nominee after the primary. He was almost eliminated at convention.

The Neighborhood Election and Convention 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, the wealthy or the famous. This is a good thing, and should be preserved.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "I liked making my own decisions and not having them filtered through party insiders."

Then you'll HATE "Buy My Vote."

It's a system designed to make doubly sure that decisions about who will run and who will rule ARE filtered through the state's moneyed elites and political kingmakers.

Decisions as to what candidates you'll be allowed to vote for will be made over cocktails, in closed-door meetings held in places most of us wouldn't be welcome. Politicians will no longer be required to meet constituents throughout the state and make convincing arguments and promises to get Utahns to vote for them.

Rather, big money will select the candidates for us, will "package" the message they want us to hear, and will certainly direct the efforts of their bought-and-paid-for representatives once elections are over.

Politicians will be beholden, not to the people, but to the money that got them elected.

Even moreso than today.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

re: "I liked making my own decisions and not having them filtered through party insiders. I could learn for myself what candidates believed and what they planned to accomplish"...

If more people did like you did and actually learned for themselves what candidates believed and what they plan to accomplish... I would have no problem with doing away with the Caucus meetings and just going straight to the Primary.

#1. We already have a party primary (where every vote counts). The only question is how we pick who appears on that party primary ballot.

#2. Only 6% bothered to vote in the most recent primary election. I can't remember a party primary when we got more than 15% turnout. So don't fool yourself into thinking IF we did away with the caucuses that it would be perfect.

I assume the same people involved enough to bother to take the time to show up to the party primary will be the same people involved enough to bother to take the time to show up to the neighborhood caucus meetings.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

My concern is the people who wake up the morning of the primary and don't know who to vote for, but feel like they need to vote, so they just vote for a random person, or the person who's name is familiar (incumbent or even just a well known family name), or the person with the best hair, or the person with the best TV Commercial, or the most signs on lawns.

I have no problem with caucus meetings, because that's WHERE you learn about the candidates, the ballot initiatives, the school district's issues, who wants to serve in the nitty-gritty positions like city counsel, school counsel, etc, (not just who wants a Senate seat).

I HOPE everybody is researching those issues (not just the Senate candidate) before the morning of the election and then asking their spouse who they should vote for... or just voting blindly.

2 bit
Cottonwood Heights, UT

RE: "let government control all the campaigns"... (from Ultra Bob)

My oh my how naive. Let the GOVERNMENT control all campaigns from now on? You put WAY too much trust in government.

Who do you think would win every election from then on IF we had established this rule back when Democrats had that short-lived Super-Majority at the beginning of the Obama administration?

Do you think a Republican would have gotten fair treatment from then on?

Do you think a Republican would have won an election from then on?

I don't.

Turning elections over to the government is how they used to do it in Iraq (when Saddam Hussein was President). And how they currently do it in Iran, North Korea, Russia. SURE... they have elections. But is there ANY question who will win every time? Nope!

And you WANT that?

homebrew
South Jordan, UT

The failed caucus system keps most people OUT of the proess! This is what purged Bob Bennett, and gave Utah tea party crazie Mike Lee. Polls showed if Bennett could have got on the ballot, he would have won in a landslide. Primaies ensure that everyone has a say, and their vote is counted. The caucus system ensures only a few well positioned people, give you the candidate, of their choice. Its time to change theu system. Aong with changing our senators. They should be changed, like diapers, evey few years, mostly for the same reasons. Mike lee is an embarrasment to the state. When you allign yourself with the likes of Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin, your sanity comes into question!

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

It probably doesn't matter what system you use to pick em if when they get to Washington they perform for donors not citizens or they march to the strings of special interests or become a flunky for a committee chairman. Utah's delegation pretty much fits this profile. You want to shake the boat but let's see how many of them are called to task next year, then we'll see how this discussion is fraudulent.

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

I belong to the largest political group in Utah. It is the group of unaffiliated voters. The caucus system excludes all members of this group. Yes, you can say, "Well, why don't you join one of the two main parties," but that isn't possible for some of us who have moral dilemmas supporting either organization. A open primary (yes, Republicans, an open primary) for all parties would enable the majority of Utah voters to express their will.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

As long as the Republican party has a closed primary, Count My Vote doesn't matter much. Both caucus and Count My Vote perpetuate the stranglehold of the GOP on Utah. I say to the GOP, if you want to hold a private election, you ought to be willing to pay for it. I'm tired of not being allowed to vote in an election my taxes pay for.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

2 bit.
“My oh my how naive. Let the GOVERNMENT control all campaigns from now on? You put WAY too much trust in government.”
Who do you trust with your safety, your food, your health and your life?

Why do you think a private group of businessmen that you have absolutely no control over, unless you are rich, is more trustworthy than a group of businessmen that sometimes try to please you?

The political parties have the upper hand in who gets to vote. Do you think that they will do anything that reduces their power? Do you really think that ordinary individuals acting without the group can match to influence to the business community.

As bad, inefficient, poorly managed as it is, Your government is the closest thing the people in general have as a friend in this world.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Bob,
I trust government with SOME things (defense, police, fire, courts, etc). But letting them run all campaigns is not one of them.

I don't trust a group of business men explicitly either. But just turning it over to the government is not an improvement.

Do you think the people in Congress today are above manipulating an election?

If so... you really are naive.

----

I trust the people (not the government). I trust that the people won't elect politicians who will dominate us. And even when we make a mistake... IF given a chance (meaning a fair election) we will quickly correct it (like we did in 2010).

If politicians/government controlled elections... there would be no balance. Once one got control enough (either side) they would completely eliminate the other party or at least turn them into a token opposition just to make it look like you had a choice.

You see government as our only friend. I've studied history and almost every government has eventually turned on it's people. That's why I don't implicitly trust them, and why the founding fathers opposed your plan (which would have quickly resulted in Kings again).

Confused
Sandy, UT

I have a question for Mike Richards and all you that support the Caucus system....

The largest group of voters is NOT republican nor are they democrat. They are independent.

so as an independent, I vote for the person who I feel is in line with what I believe.

So If I want to vote for a democrat who is running for say Governor I can do that because I can go to the Democrats caucus and support the delegate that will vote for my candidate. because they have a "open" Caucus system.

Yet if I want to do the same thing in the Republican Caucus primaries and still maintain my "independent" status as a voter, I am not allowed to do so because A) you have to be 'registered' republican to either "voice" your opinion or vote B) the GOP caucus system is "Closed".

So please tell me again how my voice as an independent is being served by the caucus system?

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . tell me again how my voice as an independent is being served by the caucus system?"

That has been exhaustively covered by a number of posters.

But, a more interesting issue is why an independent would care, one way or the other?

Independents already have what you claim to want. You just file the correct number of petition signatures, and your candidate is on the ballot.

No caucus required.

So, since you know how to nominate yours, why do you want to dictate to the rest of us how we nominate our candidates?

Or, do you have some other agenda?

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

The tea party ruined the grassroots movement.

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