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? in 1946, after almost 10 years of a direct
primary with run off, the media and public demanded the return of the Caucus and
Convention System to replace the need for a run off election. Even
the Deseret News in 1946 was specific that they didn't want to just
eliminate the run off, as that would turn the power over to money. They wanted
that every day people would vote at local meetings
As you know from 2008 to 2010 neighborhood election meeting attendance doubled.
From 2010 to 2012, meeting attendance doubled again. There is hope that in 2014,
it will double again and 250,000 will attend. I know that The State GOP has a
committee that is working to make sure we don't have the same growth
problems for 2014 and that the system can handle the volume of those interested
and still allow time to meet candidates and ask questions.New
proposals for 2014 include a better system for check in, including optional
preregistration. The ability to optionally pre-file to run to represent your
neighbors as well. The meeting will be designed to last for 2 hrs. or less, from
7pm to 9pm. There will be a pre-meeting from 6pm to 7pm to allow you to
personally meet candidates to represent your neighborhood that have decided to
run and for you to ask one on one questions. Even with large groups, changes to
make sure members can agree on questions to ask neighborhood representative
candidates with more time to hear from them.I hope you will come
again in 2014 and make the meeting better.
I'll never go to another neighborhood caucus. I went to one and tried to
lobby for a more centrist candidate and was shouted out of the meeting. Only
old guard, and I do mean OLD white men were sent to the convention. They all
favored tea party candidates. Never again! I will sign any petition that does
away with that dead horse method of choosing candidates.
We should stop using numbers from the 1930s and 40s to argue against primaries.
It is bad logic. In recent numbers states with caucuses and larger populations
have lower turnout than states with smaller populations and primaries. Caucuses
violate the norm of secret ballot. Also caucuses are designed to be restrictive.
Even with changes people don't have the time to spend along time waiting
and go through the process. We have technology that it can take me 5-10 mins to
vote. We should use it.
In the caucus system, a lucky few get an actual say regarding whose names will
appear on the ballot. Everybody else can state their opinion but any influence
they might have on the actual outcome of the election is indirect to
nonexistent. Look, picking representatives to pick representatives is what they
do in Communist China. Utah can do better than that.
A primary that is more open to members of the concerned political party is more
representative than one that is closed by circumstance (time, location, other
reasons) to most of them.
Support count out the tea party radical movement. They have caused too much
damage already with the shutdown tantrum.
Whether you like Sen. Mike Lee or not you should consider the following. The
delegates almost eliminated him at convention.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 primaryThe
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.
To "Oldcoach" you sound quite bitter about not having your minority vote
represented in the final outcome of the caucus meeting. What you don't
realize or have forgotten is that the caucus system is not designed to put the
minority position out in front. It is designed to get representatives selected
that most closely represent the will of the people.If you don't
feel that you were included, you should work towards being known by the caucus
committies and by the "old guard" that has been showing up for years.
It is obvious why you had difficulty when you showed up. You were an unknown
with an adgenda to impose your will on the people in your area. Now, if you
worked to be known, and get a reputation among your neighbors as having some
valid points, you probably could influence people more than you did.However, what you saw was the precise reason why we have the caucus meetings.
It is the will of the people that decide who the canidates are, not money.
Some facts to consider:In a direct primary, candidates would rely
primarily on expensive mailers and 30 second radio and television sound bites to
get their message to voters. Our current system is very effective at allowing
delegates to actually get to know the candidates; not just hear short sound
bites about them. If we were to change to a direct primary,
candidates would be incentivized to raise money for these media buys and
expensive campaigns which means they would spend more time with potential large
donors and special interests rather than with average Utah voters. Our current
system is accessible to all candidates, not just the wealthy and
well-connected.Also, with a direct primary, candidates would only
need to focus on the major population areas of the state to get the votes they
need creating unnoticed counties in our rural areas. Our current system gives
rural Utah a voice.
one vote You best be aware of the Tea Party movement, Today a Rasmusson pole
shows 42% of voters align with Obama, 42% align with the Tea Party. Leaving 16%
undecided. For a radical movement it has a serious influence on the way things
are going. Don't be so quick to dismiss. I will admit the numbers dropped
from an earlier pole that had the percentages of Tea Party at 48% vs Obama at
I have been to the neighborhood caucuses and was elected as a county delegate. I
have attended two county conventions and I am in favor of dropping the caucus
system. I think every vote should be counted. I keep hearing that the delegates
represent the will of the people that voted them in. In the end, I was free to
vote how I wished as a delegate and was under no obligation to vote how the rest
of my neighborhood saw fit. The only thing I like about the caucus system is
that I really got a chance to know the candidates, thus making sure that those
that seemed radical or too far right, did not make it to the primary. However, I
was offended more than once at the convention with those who voted based upon
religious credentials. I was also offended at the efforts of some to try to
insert their idea of morality into the Republican party.
Absolutely false redshirt,The caucus system is designed take radical
fringe positions and put then in to policy. Not very many people can make the
argument that indirect representation of the people is more representative than
To "VAggie" prove it. How does forcing the canidates explain themselves
and justify their position to many canidates allow a fringe element to take
hold? The only way a fringe position could be put into policy would be if a
majority of people in an area supported that policy. But, if a majority of
people support an idea it is no longer fringe, but is the mainstream idea of the
group.Nobody ever said that indrect representation is more
representative than direct representation. Who said that? I stated that with
the caucus system politicians have to actually connect with the representatives
and not just spend a lot of money on name recognition advertisements.