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Comments about ‘Letter: Mero needs a clue’

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Published: Friday, Jan. 17 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

What does the writer mean by "fair election"? Does he mean that the candidates will be chosen by the party elite, behind closed doors, or does he mean by the voice of the delegates elected by the citizens in their caucuses where the citizens decide the issues that are important for that precinct and then assign "electors" from among themselves to "vet" the candidates. Which example follows the principles set forth in a Democratic Republic and which principles smack of royalty where the "king" tells us what we need and provides "candidates" that meet HIS qualifications?

Youth are easily swayed, not because they are "stupid" but because they don't have a lot of experience in knowing that every "father figure" shouldn't be worshipped. Look at what the "Count My Vote" people did; they signed on every "father figure" that they could find. Was it just happenstance that those "father figures" were also the party elite? Just like any elite, they want our votes, they want our tax dollars, but they know that if given a choice, we won't vote for "their" candidate - so they'll choose for us.

Ranch
Here, UT

Be careful Jenica. This is Utah and you could be jailed for being a woman and having your own thoughts rather than letting the men do all your thinking for you.

Owen
Heber City, UT

Mero discussing Count My Vote on the radio: "Whether x percent participate in a primary, or x percent participate in a general, it doesn’t bother me. What bothers me are ignorant people. That’s what bothers me. Ignorant people making decisions on my behalf.”

This is exactly the frustration that birthed the initiative Mero is fighting -- conventions and elections controlled by ignorant people -- consumers of one shallow media puddle, low-information talk-radio audiences. By definition, ignorant people have made decisions on behalf of the rest of us. We got Mike Lee as a result. And it bothers us.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

What he said was a huge generalization. Generalizations arent' 100% correct. But for some teenagers it fits (and some adults).

You are probably on the far edge of the informed spectrum for teenagers, but there are teenagers who only know what they heard on TV, FaceBook or Twitter (glossy advertising and propaganda).

I would agree with turning the party nomination process into a popularity contest IF we could get even 25% turn out at a Party Primary. Not even close. And that includes all ages.

I think the caucus system has some problems, but a Primary does too. It's not neccessarily an improvement if... only 6-10% turn out... the majority of those end up voting what the news paper or TV recommended, or the name they recognise, or the candidate with the best profile picture, or the candidate had the best smear campaign.

The Caucus is not an attempt to keep you out of politics. It's an attempt to get people MORE involved in politics (by meeting and discussing politics and candidates with their neighbors and picking the most informed in the group to represent their group at the Convention).

It's not perfect... but it's not all bad either.

Noodlekaboodle
Poplar Grove, UT

Well, I don't really care either way. It seems to me unless I lie and pretend i'm a republican my vote doesn't really county anyways. By the time the republicans have decided their candidates the election is already over in all but a couple races. So what difference does it make to non registered republicans how the ruling party chooses their candidates?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Noodlekaboodle,
Your whining is well taken. But I don't know if it's as justified as you think. If any Republican always wins... How do you explain Jim Matheson's success?

I explain it by him not being a radical Democrat, and knowing what Utahns want. (Something Democrats may want to consider when replacing him in the future).

Run more candidates that are more in tune with what Utahns want... and they will get elected.

But keep running radicals, pro-abortion activists, prople who support anything the DNC wants them to do candidates... and I predict most Utahns will continue to not want them. And they have a right to not want them.

Utahns have a right to vote for who we want to vote for. It's not our fault if Democrats keep running canidates who's positions are offensive to most Utahns. Hint... that's NOT how you win elections.

IF more Democrats would vocally seperate from some of the DNC's central planks (like Matheson did)... and focus on what UTAHNS want... I think they would win more elections in Utah.

It's not our fault Democrats keep running people who disagree with most Utahns!

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Whiners always tell us that the "system" is at fault, when the problem is that the "system" works, but doesn't work the way that the whiners wanted it to work. Case in point: Mike Lee. Utah has two major political parties. Both parties are free to establish rules for the selection of candidates. Neither party can dictate rules to the other party. Some people find that offensive. They would level the playing field by requiring that all candidates accept their own party's platform. The Republicans decided to allow members of the Republican party vote for delegates to talk with each candidate and determine which candidate most closely represented their precinct. That infuriated Bob Bennett's supporters who wanted to crown Bob Bennett without an election. That infuriated those who didn't bother to go to their caucus meeting. That infuriated those who went but who couldn't sway the vote.

The delegates talked to the candidates and Mike Lee was one candidate selected. In the Primary, Mike Lee won 51.2% of the votes. Whiners tell us that the system failed. The system worked for everyone except the whiners.

Schnee
Salt Lake City, UT

The problem with the caucus is that if you aren't available at one specific time on one specific day you're out of luck. Working that evening? Too bad. Night classes? Too bad. A primary at least gives the flexibility of voting before or after work.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Mero wears the narrowest of blinders, to the point that he can only focus on one tiny dot, then he believes the entire world should only look at the tiny dot he's focused on.
If anyone is clueless, it's Mero and his ilk.

JenicaJessen
Riverton, UT

I have in fact noticed my level of involvement is something of an aberration. But it would be among older adults, too. Not everyone is well-informed, and that's true regardless of age. Young people are not less involved than older people; my generation has one of the highest levels of community involvement and volunteerism in history. The reason that Millenials' participation in politics is low is because they don't want to waste their time on a system they feel they can't affect and doesn't represent them. To me, that sounds like a problem with the system, not the youth.
About uninformed people: Churchill said "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." He also said "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried." Yes, I'll admit there are poorly-informed people-- but that doesn't mean they should be marginalized. The price of a free democracy is that stupid and intelligent people alike are given the same rights, and if we can't handle that fact we should switch to an oligarchy.

JenicaJessen
Riverton, UT

2bits, I know neither system is perfect. A perfect system isn't possible. But I definitely prefer a direct primary, because while it won't eliminate the problems of poorly informed and low-participating voters, it at least gives them a chance to improve.
Noodlekaboodle: Along with what 2bits said, I'd like to point out changing the system would allow more party diversity. Direct primaries would let parties endorse candidates, but not keep them off the ballot. With a little work, anyone could get on the ballot regardless of ideology or party.
MikeRichards, I thought it would be difficult to be more condescendingly prejudiced than Meros, but I guess I was wrong. I do not support Count My Vote because I’m inexperienced and want someone to explain my rights to me. I do NOT support Count My Vote because I want a "father figure" to "worship." I am not desperately seeking the approval of anyone older than me. I-- and my peers-- are seeking the approval of people we respect, and we're seeking respect from others in Utah's political community regardless of our age. Clearly we're not going to get it from you.

Hemlock
Salt Lake City, UT

You are theoretically correct, when you reach the legal age as defined by law you are capable of making intelligent decisions. In reality, uninformed or irresponsible voters have been a continuing concern from the early days of our republic. Hence some political offices initially were not by direct election. Let's hope that your level of involvement and information will extend to young and old voters alike. An informed electorate is the goal and we have far to travel.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Jenica,
You are not marginalised. You get to vote twice in every election. Once in the Party Primary, and a again in the General Election.

Have you been taking advantage of THOSE opportunities (voting in every Party Primary). If not... what can I say?

You seem to be only focused on ONE thing...getting rid of caucus meetings. They don't do away with your right to vote. Both parties (Democrat and Republican) already have a Party Primary Election (a few months ahead of the General Election). Have you been voting in them consistently? If you have... you are one of the less than 15% that turned out to vote in the party primaries last August. If not... you are marginalising yourself (which at least 85% of the population is currently doing).

===

Caucuses don't prevent you from voting. We marginalise ourselvs when we don't show up to the party primary!

YOU get to vote (in your party primary).

YOU get to vote again (in the general election).

85% of us are marginalising ourselvs by not showing up to the existing Party Primary elections!

Why would that % change by just doing away with caucus meetings??

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

My first vote at age 18 was precious to me. I felt a new sense of citizenship. I informed myself carefully. I remember long, deep conversations with people. I think I may have cared more then than I do now. Mr. Mero's arrogant dismissal of the young voter is breathtaking. And people give this man money?

Confused
Sandy, UT

Here is the rub with the caucus system that I think Jennica is talking about..

She went to BOTH party caucus meetings, which to my understanding is that she is independent.

In the GOP caucuses they have "closed" elections (Democratic are open), so the only way for an independent who may or may not lean right has no way of voting for someone in the primaries without "joining" the party.

Count my Vote makes it so that independents can vote in primaries, thus the new system would work for those of us who refuse to join a party.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Irony,
Again... nobody's taking away your right to vote.

With or without caucus meetings... you get to vote in the party primary.

With or without caucus meetings... you get to vote in the general election.

----

If we don't narrow the field for the party primary... there is no chance ANY candidate will come out of the Primary with a majority vote.

Without a majority of his OWN party supporting him... his opponent will use that against him in the general election and point out that not even a majority of his OWN party supported him... so how can a majority of both parties support him?

We must narrow it to the top-2 candidates for the primary. Otherwise if there are even 2 people on the ballot with similar positions... half vote for each... and the guy with outlier position actually wins... do you WANT that?

The convention is just a way to find the top-2 candidates for the Party Primary.

IF you're not in the top-2 (like Bennett) run as independent in the general election!

FT
salt lake city, UT

The Sutherland institure and many conservative organizations continuously try to narrow the voting blocs by coming up with weak excuses like "uniformed voters". They see the trends and the only way they hold on to power is to limit the vote. You stay involved, America needs more kids like you!!

Confused
Sandy, UT

2bits,
"With or without caucus meetings... you get to vote in the party primary."

Not True.... you can only vote in the primaries of the GOP is if you are a registered republicans. If you are independent, you can not "voice" an opinion of vote in the GOP caucuses.

Mike in Sandy
Sandy, UT

Mero is so far right, Mike Lee is to his left. Extremists should never be counted on for any policy/protocol/opinion that affects normal people.

JenicaJessen
Riverton, UT

2bits: With or without caucus meetings, I can (and am planning to) vote in all the primary and general elections. (I've only been able to vote in municipal elections so far because during the last primary and general election-- 2012-- I was 17.)

But the caucuses and conventions are where all the real decisions are made. Utah is the only state in the nation where a candidate for public office can bypass a primary election entirely-- which happens regularly. And as has already been pointed out, in a general election the Republican usually wins by default. (Not with every candidate and not in every district, no, but quite often.) This means that the office can be conferred upon the party favorite without any input from the general voting public.

So yes, you're right, I can and will vote in the primaries and generals-- but in some cases, it doesn't even matter. THAT is why I'm so focused on the caucus system.

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