I have served on GOP county and state central committees. I have always
attended my caucus meetings. I enjoy this every other year tradition. Two
years ago, I served as a precinct chair. Because of a First Presidency letter
from the LDS church urging people to attend their caucus meetings, we had a
record turnout with over a 112 attending! Even though we were in a large school
classroom, there was not enough space! (I am sure we violated fire code). But
even with this "record" turnout, we only had 18% of the registered
voters in the precinct there! The supporters of the current system keep
stressing that we all need to be patriots and attend our caucus meetings. If
support at Caucus meetings even reached 40%, there are not enough auditoriums
and halls to fit every precinct. It is just physically impossible to achieve a
broad based support at Caucus meetings. Caucus meetings, if left in tact, will
always get a small minority of the people. And extreme candidates, who have no
chance in a general election, will benefit.
One more thing, VST- what I said above left out a vitally important detail-
before caucus night, moneyed interests, including out-of-state interests like
FreedomWorks (or, in other states, MoveOn.org), spend large sums not only trying
to stack caucus night but also training people to manipulate the caucus process,
sidestep the intent of the rules of order etc, and browbeat their fellow
citizens out of their only meaningful opportunities for political
participation.Somehow we're all supposed to believe David
Leavitt is the wealthy evil influence in this state and ignore the fact that
FreedomWorks, flush with their success in buying the 2012 state convention,
spent a million dollars trying to stack and manipulate the 2012 caucus and then
trying to influence the convention delegates?
@VST- neither did the general populace accept bribes. They heard an ad and
decided they liked what they heard, while a delegate read a targeted mailing or
heard a speech at an invite-only event (where quite likely food was served) and
decided he liked what he heard. Why do you claim the former counts as
"buying votes" while the latter does not?You and other
caucus delegates are likely to be neither more nor less influenced per penny of
candidate spending than your fellow citizens, but candidates can afford to spend
a thousand times as much on you.Your feigned outrage is just a silly
cover for the claim "I'm immune to the influence of money while all my
neighbors are sheep."
Dave,Sorry but I am going to have to disagree. There are many state
legislators who are very frightened of Count My Vote, because they will have to
face ALL of the voters not just those hand picked in caucuses that have been
voting them in for years.
Prodicus: You're exactly right. Orrin Hatch spent almost five million
dollars on the 2012 caucus. That was more than he spent on either the primary or
the general elections. And magically enough, despite the caucus system's
supposed hostility to 'incumbents' and the 'wealthy', he got
elected again.NO electoral system is immune from the effects of
money. To claim otherwise is at best ignorance and at worst a lie. And if we
have to choose between two imperfect systems in an imperfect world, I pick the
one that actually gives the general public a voice.
You would be wrong to think that the current legislators are scared to death of
CMV. No legislator is afraid of having to win a primary (with money given to
them by influence-seeking lobbyists) against principled challengers that
don't get much (or any) lobbyist money.
VST, as far as electoral spending goes, all it accomplishes to have our
government selected by a thousandth of the voters is that candidates can spend a
thousand times as much money per delegate as they could per general voter.
Relatives of mine have been delegates to the state convention; they received
huge amounts of targeted advertising, invitations to events with food, and
scores of other attempts to buy their votes. This persisted for years after the
conventions they were delegates for; candidates figure that past delegates are
more likely to be delegates again in the future, so they concentrate their
spending before conventions on past delegates.You really think all
this is "earned" while the votes of the general public are only
"bought"?To do so is to claim that caucus delegates are
somehow perfectly rational beings who are immune to the influence of money,
while the general public is composed of people with no mind of their own at all
who vote only based on the frequency of advertisements they hear. This is not
only absurd, it's extremely arrogant and elitist.
It is so amusing to hear the anti Count My Vote People say it is the rich and
elite that will benefit. Our current republican state legislators are scared to
death of this initiative. Why because they currently have absolute control of
this state. Count My Vote will lead to a state legislature that is more
balanced, more willing to compromise, more reasonable and more willing to listen
to the will of the many instead of the few. Look at the leaders who
support Count My Vote look at those who oppose it. On the integrity scale it
isn't even close. Time for the Caucus to go the way of the Edsel.
"I get so sick of this blanket ingnorance.(sic)"Liberty, I
have to hand it to you, you and other caucus supporters are nothing if not
consistent.If the people are not intelligent enough to choose their own
representatives, clearly they could never hope to be capable of choosing their
own electoral system.
Linus, yes, there is a small fraction of "the people" who are happy with
the present system- namely, the entrenched party "good old boy" network
and those who grease their palms. If you support the present caucus system,
either you fall into one of those two categories or you have been duped by
them.The clear majority in the polls have said they want to see
reform that brings more primary elections and thus makes government accountable
to the people again. I guess, however, that you're used to the idea that
people who share your ideas deserve to override the majority, because the fact
that they disagree with you eo ipso means they're "easily swayed,
ill-informed, and uninvolved." They deserve to be disenfranchised so you and
your "enlightened" pals can run the state.
It always seemed to me the caucus system was not a voter friendly process,
particularly if you were living remotely and had obligations committing your
time, such as two jobs, a family, etc. It is more favorable to special interests
who can underwrite participation by its members. Am I missing something?
I work evenings. My problem is that I can't really vote.This
bill does nothing to change that. I still can't be a delegate, period.
And I have no effective chance of absentee ballot voting because I will have
almost zero information regarding the potential delegates prior. On caucus
night, potential delegates announce their intentions, give a quick blurb about
themselves, and people in the room vote. How does someone who works evenings
get a chance in that?Because this system disenfranchises me, I
strongly oppose any system that continues to restrict my chances of voting. And
I strongly disagree with anyone who tries to tell me that my inability to vote
is needed to create a better system.
I have gone to many neighborhood caucus meetings. The public seems to think
they aren't very important, and as a result the meetings are very often
poorly attended. As a result one group of 10-15 people showing up with a common
agenda can easily hijack the vote. Thus it is possible that a few
extremists can take over and get their friends elected as delegates. If people
don't care enough to show up to the caucus, we could end up with some real
kooks in office. A primary at least forces them to gain the favor of a larger
group of voters.
@ JenicaJessen and steve123.your answer is because the CMV does not represent
"THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE" I get so sick of this blanket ingnorance.
Anyone who has done there homework on this issue knows that the devil is in the
details and it does the exact opposite of what it says it will. True it gives
you a primary but anyone who has watched election campaigns knows this basically
only gives you the power to choose from the candidates those with biggest
pockets endorse. It becomes a sound bite media blitz campaign and the one who
has the biggest checkbook has the advantage. Look at the sponsors supporting
this bill. Corporations, Unions, special interest groups, big money and
established politicians. Your Caucuss system is in place for this reason to
elect representatives YOU THE PEOPLE choose at your Caucuss all you have to do
is show up. You choose a rep to do the homework and vet these guys and it helps
eliminates bad and corrupt candidates. CMV has been voted down already twice and
was tried in the state before. The results were corruption, fraud, and
entrenched beauracracy and corporate cronyism.
There is a very entrenched portion of the party that greatly fears CMV, What are
you afraid of Mr. Bramble?
I never thought the day would come when our state legislature got so scared of
the will of the people that it prevented them from deciding on an issue through
their votes.Bramble claims that he's not defying the voice of
the people because the people haven't had a chance to speak in an election
yet. And he's right. He isn't defying the voice of the people,
he's deciding that whatever they say he will ignore it. Nullifying an
initiative before it even hits the ballot is little better than silencing the
petitioners directly. The reasoning behind this bill is a disgrace.
If you don't like the initiative, convince the people directly instead of
deciding beforehand you will ignore their decisions. Bramble would do well to
remember that at the end of the day, those people are the ones he has to answer
to- or at least, they would be in a decent electoral system.
"The people are speaking and they want a direct primary," McKeown
said.I am part of "the people," and I don't want a
direct primary! Those who want a direct primary are the established career
politicians and the well-heeled fat cats that can afford intense TV
advertising.A direct primary will harvest the votes of the easily
swayed, ill informed, and uninvolved voters who love to get on board the
bandwagon. Everybody loves a winner, so ill-informed voters are swept up and
taken in. The caucus/convention method of candidate selection forces
candidates, rich or poor, to confront real issues and real voters face to face.
The people want a citizen government; not career politicians who want to be
insulated from accountability starting at their nomination.