Comments about ‘Poll: Half of Utahns not interested in attending party caucuses’

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Published: Friday, March 9 2012 8:00 p.m. MST

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Salt Lake City, UT

Why would I be excited to support either Party as a member of the church because there obviously isn't room or acceptance in either one for my faith?

New Yorker
Pleasant Grove, UT

Used to go until I realized that there are so many "at large" delegates that they can block almost anything the elected delegates want to do by majority of the elected delegates. Particularly this affects making changes to the rules and attempts at reducing the large count of "at large" delegates that really control what happens. The old guard always has the big advantage, so what's the point of going to try to make a "difference?"

Park City, Ut

And people wonder why the state lawmakers are so right-wing a majority of Utahans consider themselves moderate. These caucuses get hijacked by these ultra-right leaning candidates who don't have ANY agenda, and then your average Utahan shows up to the voting both and just starts punching the "R's" next to the names. Is sad really. More people should show up, and it's to bad more people are not interested in politics, instead punting the the guy with some agenda.

On the other hand
Spanish Fork, UT

As long as political parties are enshrined in the Utah Code, they should operate within a framework determined by the state's citizens, not its partisans. The GOP currently occupies a position of hegemony in the state, so it's no surprise they don't want things to change. Our present system gives a handful of people, many of whom are "automatic" delegates, tremendous power in determining whose names will appear on the general election ballot. Party insiders insist this puts the power in the hands of the "informed", but time and again these illuminati act against the will of the majority of Utahns.

I do my homework on candidates and issues, and I fail to see why I or anyone else in my precinct should delegate our voice in the process to a proxy who's not even bound to support specific candidates. Say what you will about incumbents vs. little guys, about grassroots efforts (like the junkmail I keep getting from out-of-state PACs trying to manipulate state politics), and so on. I don't buy it. The pyramid of "representation" we currently build ensures that each level is less representative than the previous one. This is ludicrous. Primary elections, please.

South Jordan, UT

Our Founding Fathers were wise to form a Republic rather than a Democracy.

Most citizens cannot or will not take the time to really get to know the candidates and issues. Under a Republic, they elect representatives who WILL take the time and energy to really study the issues and candidates, and then vote on their behalf.

The Utah Caucus system is brilliant, in that it allows exactly this. The people from a local neighborhood get together and elect representatives. These representatives then take the time to carefully study the issues and the candidates.

As a result, the best candidates appear on the ballots of the primary and general elections. I'm afraid that if left to pure Democracy, too many of us would vote primarily based on name recognition and a few sound bites -- whether accurate or inaccurate, because we don't have the time or opportunities to get to know the candidates well enough.

Thank heaven we have this wonderful caucus system, that allows every one of us to vote for like-minded representatives!

Waianae, HI

It is attitude like the ones expressed that keep the old guard in power. The old guard is in power because they are the ones in control. They are in control because they attend and they vote.

Others in the mean time do not attend and gripe about not having any one to vote for, as in same stuff different day. Sun will always rise in the East and set in the West,

I do not think that Caucuses should be legal however being legal you must deal with them, you are either part of the problem or part of the solution.

I believe that anyone should be able run for anything with the Voters of each party deciding in a run off.

A Caucuses choices for you who we have a choice of. As in the last Election if we can't pull the handle for either one even if with the least of all evils not working well enough for us to vote for either person. The least of all Evils is still Evil.

Caucuses are not a good way have an election.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The world is run by those who show up.

Some people make things happen, others watch what happens and some only wonder what happened.

The caucus system is superb because is gives power to people who are actually interested, paying attention and willing to turn off their TV long enough to get out and go to a meeting once every two years.

Simple primaries instead of caucuses place the power back in the hands of the "elite" media pundits, and politicians with the most money to spend on advertising. Candidates with good positions are easily pushed out of the way by that system.

Frankly, too many voters are simply so poorly informed about candidates and issues that they should not even be allowed to vote!

Get informed, and go to your caucus and use your voice to help nominate good candidates!

Taylorsville, UT

Never been to a caucus or even invited.

The only thing I see or read that these caucus do is confuse people with deception and arrogance of presumption they are the voice of the people. They limit and control the audience to peers of legislators, special interest, and their established policies and unwilling to accept new ideas for citizens and their rights. The caucuses are geared to business and how to oppresses workers.

These meetings are staged to exact policy on the citizens to overwhelm common sense and their individuals right and will. They demand rather than show cause for their actions or purpose. They try to steal ones free will and choice for a one policy government.

Salt Lake City, UT

I vote for the person who is best. I am angry that in order to attend the caucus or vote in the Republican primary I have to declare myself a Republican. In my lifetime of living in Utah I have voted for way more Republicans than Democrats, but this policy makes me much less likely to do so because the Republicans have become so right winged.

Dietrich, ID

Idaho had theres the other day and some young women went on and on of how politics are boring and would rather go to the High School All Star game that conflicted with the caucus. Of course I would of wanted to go to that too. But did go to the Republican Caucus.and people that

I live in a small county geographically and population wise so caucus did not last long. However in counties that were large with a large repuplican population took forever. One problem wiht the Caucus too was missionaries, serviceman, legislatures in the panhandle and people with work and other obligations could not make it. Idaho's primary is in May when we know who the nomiee for President is. Hard to have primary while legislature is in session. I am glad I was able to make it tthe caucus and cast a vote for President here in Idaho.

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

@On the other hand 11:07 p.m. March 9, 2012
I had to chuckle when you used the term "Utah Code" because my mind immediately thought about the theodemocratic tone of Utah government. Then I realized you were referring to our statutes.
My bad.
Still, the rumors of LDS influence are alive and well...in part because of articles such as this one. It is an obvious attempt to carry the water for the Church regarding attendance at caucuses.

Cherilyn Eagar
Holladay, UT

We pledge allegiance "to the republic" because in Article IV, Section 8 of the Constitution, it says, "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this union a Republican Form of Government." Not a democracy, as Kirk Jowers and the Democrats want.

The principle of representative government is fundamental to a republican government. The founders knew of democracyÂs volatile history, which leads to the majority taking Âlargesse from the treasury, the Âentitlement society seeking more government dependency.

UtahÂs caucus is representative republican government at the neighborhood level. Anyone can attend and elect their representatives.

Why do people not want to participate? Perhaps because they are weary of elected officials unaccountable to the people, the corrupt culture of DC lobbyists that buy and sell votes, and the arrogance of officialdom.

Our schools have taught incorrectly that this nation is a democracy. Most states elect representatives by democratic vote  open primaries. Consider a source of the corruption: it is the transformation of the republic to a democracy through democratic open primaries electing only wealthy representatives who can afford the expensive 30 second TV ads by which they are elected.

Long live the Republic and the Caucus.

Salt Lake City, UT

The caucus system 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 60,000 republicans in Utah that went to the neighborhood caucus elections in 2010 to elect the 3500 delegates. Add to those numbers to democrats and the primary elections and certainly the municipal elections didn't do any better in voter representation.

Most people that want the caucus system changed, there are exceptions, are frustrated that they don't have as much power as people that show up to the neighborhood election caucus meetings. It doesn't take money, you just have to show up.

What we need are more people getting involved earlier, not shutting down the system that protects us from power hungry people wanting to take over.

Paul H
West Valley, UT

If everyone even tried to attend their caucus there simply wouldn't be enough room in my front room. Not even in my whole front and back yard combined. They're just pretending to invite EVERYONE to attend.

Informed Voter
South Jordan, UT

"I think they are revealing in black and white what we have intuitively thought for a long time, that the caucus system is not doing what it's supposed to be doing," Dabakis said. "It's certainly not engendering the involvement of the people of Utah in their government."

So do more than 60% vote in elections? I doubt it. The LDS church's effort to increase caucus attendance via a letter read in sacrament services, cancelation of church meetings on caucus nights and DN articles such as this is primarily due to one reason: Senator Bennet's defeat by what some call "radical tea party members". Has such an effort by the church to increase caucus participation been done before to this degree?

one old man
Ogden, UT

I just learned that my "neighborhood caucus" will not be in a neighbor's living room. Instead it will be at the student union building at WSU. That's quite a neighborhood!

I have attended caucuses in the past. Before last time, they were small meetings filled with people I mostly knew. But last year, things changed and the living room was jammed with rabid Tea Partiers who literally shouted down several of us when we tried to express more moderate views than they wanted to hear.

Now I understand there will be a "moderator" who will determine who will have the opportunity to speak- and who will not.

So much for the First Amendment and a citizen's right to speak . . .

I'll be attending caucus again, but I don't expect to see democracy in action. Instead it will be that Compound Republic nonsense I guess. . .

Highland, Utah

Some thoughts:
If 60% have never attended caucuses, yet 50% are interested this year, then attendance is going up, not down.
The caucus/system is not exclusive. I have caucus hosts (not just attendees) who are not of the predominate faith. They are awesome, totally welcome and fully active in the process. Saying you aren't welcome or able to be effective because of your faith is a copout.
Primaries do not bring the people into the process. Primaries isolate candidates from the vetting of the grassroots and put candidate selection into the hands of those with large amounts of money and influence. The only way for real grassroots candidates to have a chance is through the caucus/convention system.
Some high-level Republicans are actively working to end the caucus system because it is no longer working for them. Are you going to help them take the power away from the grassroots?
There are no Âat large state delegates in Utah County as of December 10, 2011. Those seats have been allocated directly to the precincts. So, please come back and participate in this fantastic implementation of representative government.

Eagle Mountain, UT

Having to declare a party affiliation to vote in the primary adds to the sense of futility with this most basic process, the caucus. More of this nation is centrist or moderate than either Right or Left so the process excludes people--especially here in Zion. True partisan debate has led to great things happening in the history of this country. What we have now is leadership by temper tantrum and the work of the people is not being done. The practice of obstructionist politics has led to our present situation more than anything. I would like to see a day when I can register as an Independent in Utah and vote my conscience. I don't subscribe to either party because neither fully represents how I feel or what I know about the issues or the people. My GOP family and friends say this is flakey because I dare have a thought of my own. This reason and much more translate to people not bothering with caucuses. If you are not a Republican in this state, you have no actual representation and much less voice. Poll that.


I will be honest: in my 73 yrs of teaching polysci, never have I witnessed a worse anti-American Prez than Obama.I live in the soviet republic of Ca. It is a hopelessly leftist state, bankrupt and following or leading Obama's national eco., soc, pol,health-public safety destruction. I will still vote in the Pub primaries because I cannot abide another 4 years of socialist radical horrors for this nation. From Obamacare to scandals to borders to debt to a horrid energy solution, this man and his Party are killing our American heritage, history and values. And some in Utah are in a snit because the Pub candidates are not perfect?????Oh puleeze. Anybody but Obama.You ought to be ashamed.

Rocket Science
Brigham City, UT

Informed Voter, perhaps you unaware for many years now the LDS church has had a letter of political neutrality read in Sacrament meetings before the caucuses are held. In this letter in addition to political neutrality they also encourage participation in the caucus meetings and direct that all Church meetings scheduled for those evenings should be canceled to allow attendance without church obligations that evening.

Cityslickergrandma: The purpose of a primary or a caucus is for the party to vet their potential candidates and choose who they will put up to run as their candidate against persons from other parties. While President Washington was against a party system, that is what we have. The present effort in states with open primaries by democrats voting republican in effort to get more delegates to candidates who are seen as less likely to defeat their candidate underscores the need of parties to close primaries and caucuses to only party members. Join the party of your choice and participate in the selection of party candidates.

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