I don't know about all of your precincts, but my precinct has great
attendance at caucuses and has a history of voting down candidates who come with
an agenda or preselected candidate. I've run as a delegate for the last 3
election cycles on the promise that I will vet each candidate and vote for those
who most closely match my political philosophy. I then explain that philosophy
to the voters. Every year I have beaten other delegate candidates who come with
preslected candidates and agendas. I can't believe my neighbors are any
smarter than yours, so if your not having a great experience like this with
grass roots politics, maybe you start looking at how you get people to attend
and participate in your caucuses and who you are selecting as delegates.
Delegates are not the bad people the "count my vote" campaign makes them
out to be. They are our neighbors who are willing to participate in the process.
Stop vilifying them.
Excellent commentary, Gerald. The success of the Count My Vote petition would
result in voters being more influential, and extremists less influential.
There is no "runoff" election with count my vote. Do the math. A
minority candidate with a strong following could become the
"party's" candidate even though he received a minority vote.
Without "runoff elections", a direct primary represents nobody.
Representative democracy works as well as people put work into it. If it's
not working well at the caucus level; it's working worse at the polls,
simply because you should know the neighbor you vote for at the caucus better
than a candidate from some other locale who is on a primary ballot. Vote for
your representative at whatever level according to the known integrity and
wisdom of the candidate. Truth usually runs somewhere inbetween or partially
across party lines. Neither conservatives or liberals have a corner on the whole
truth. Both can be totally wrong on an issue.
Mike Richards,The purpose for the house and senate is to overcome the
inefficiencies in a pure democracy and to give proportionate representation to
the states and to the individuals. While we would hope that we send the best
and brightest as our representatives in government, rarely are the judgments of
the few better than that of the overall population.But as Twin
Lights says, we do not elect electors to elect our senators and representatives,
we elect them ourselves.Those backing the caucus system support a
system that says we aren’t smart enough to select candidates, and we need
those wiser and smarter than us to do it for us. How condescending and
patrician of them! “you’re too stupid, let us take care of
you” is a liberal idea, wholly unbecoming of conservatives but the
back-bone of the caucuses. Interesting that our usual liberal commenters oppose
the caucus system.
Multiple meetings I have attended where the room was "stacked" by a
specific candidates supporters with the express point of getting a supporter
elected to be assured they will vote for that candidate at convention. As has
been pointed out already, Orrin Hatch was a perfect example. It can get
downright ugly at some of the meetings with delegates pressured to vote a
specifc way or not be elected at all.Anyone who claims that the
caucus system can't be or isn't run by special interests has been
attending their caucus meetings blindfolded and with ear plugs.
2bits No Matter what, No one has the right to take my vote away because they
don't think I'm informed enough! I respect the right of even the so
called "uninformed" to cast a vote. It's their right and a hard
won right at that! Maybe we should not let minorities, poor people, or young
people vote either. They might not be informed enough.
Someone asked "if the caucus system was so great, why is Utah the only one
that has one?"There are currently 14 states that use the caucus
system (Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Nevada,
Nebraska, Washington, Maine, Wyoming, Texas, Utah.Each state has
changed the caucus system to meet their needs, I believe Utah is the only one
that uses this form of the caucus meetings....Now my point is this,
although the GOP/Democrats have the right to choose their own representatives,
it leaves out a Hugh voting block (independents) from having a chance to vote
for someone who they want to win. So do our votes count? You say form a party of
your own and choose a candidate. To me that is a cop out, what if I lean Right
on most fiscal issues and feel there are several good candidates in the GOP that
would do well in this area? I can not vote for them because I am not
"Registered". So my input is null and void.
Sal,You already have the power to unelect Senator Bramble (2 times -
Primary Election, and General Election). You have the exact same opportunities
to ditch Bramble you will have IF CMV wins.People who pretend they
don't have a vote unless CMV wins... show they don't understand our
current system.===Utefan60,Very few people think
that any delegate is smarter than any other Utahn. Maybe Mike Richards
disagrees, but we are all about the same intelligence. Maybe he was saying
many people don't take the TIME to research the candidates in depth, and
end up going to the polls not even knowing who's running or who they
want.I have people in my own family who wake up election day in a
panic because they don't know anything about the candidates besides what
they saw on TV.If you're at convention... you can't help
learning something about the candidates (more than watching a 60second promo-add
or a 60second attack-add).You can't attend Convention and not
learn more about the issues, party agenda, people in office already (and what
they have/haven't done) and what they intend to do IF elected.
Mike RichardsOn that basis, we should have electors when we go to
actually elect our representative and senators as well. But we don’t.
Electing a candidate directly to represent a party is no more a problem it is in
the general election. BTW you description of how uninformed caucus
voters were does nothing to make the current system more palatable.
@Mike Richards"some voters asked me who was running! "You should've made that person a delegate since that person would be
quite unbiased which you seem to value in this process.
Mike Richards would still have us believe that we are too uninformed, uneducated
or otherwise not informed to make our vote count. Those people stuffing my
caucus meetings are better at choosing for us unintelligent masses. That
isn't true. I have been pushed out of a caucus meeting that didn't
represent my neighborhood. Too many people don't have all the time to
attend for various reasons. That doesn't mean they are uneducated and that
the Eagle Forum should stuff my meeting with their people. The one vote system
is fair and honest. It is the people that don't want to loose their power
that are complaining and making the arguments that it needs to stay. I
don't want the Eagle Forum or the Sutherland Institute eliminating my vote.
Senator Bramble's bill to alter the caucus system doesn't reflect the
desire of the majority of Utahans who prefer a direct Primary. He was elected
to do the will of the people. I hope we can prevail with Count My Vote. I
won't vote for Sen. Bramble again.
It occurs to me that there is merit in both the arguments for keeping the caucus
system in place and going to a primary based system like the Count My Vote
advocates want. What if you turn the paradigm a little sideways. Have a primary
election first. The top three getting votes move on the the caucus/convention
step. The caucuses are held after the primary has thinned the roster of
candidates. The delegates selected go in the the conventions and select the
final candidate from the primary survivors. The candidate that goes to the final
election is the one that gets the most votes after two rounds of voting. In the
first round, the third place candidate gets dropped. In the second round the
finalist needs a simple majority.
Thanks, Mr. Nebeker, for an accurate and well-informed letter.
Fact #1:The outcome will not change drastically if we do away with the
Convention. The same people will win in the end. So I don't care much
which way it goes. But it bothers me the level of mis-understanding and
mis-information that the Convention foes are expressing on our current
system.It wouldn't even matter much who goes to convention (the
same people would win).Fact #2: Every individual already gets 3
opportunities to have their individual vote counted. Most take advantage of
only 1 (if that).Fact #3: Most people (delegates included) end up
voting on name recognition or the TV/Radio media blitz a candidate can
muster.Fact #4: The final outcome won't change much.
Myth 6-10: That your vote isn't counted. In fact you have the
opportunity to vote and have your vote counted... 3-4 TIMES! IF you bothered to
vote.Vote #1: (every individual) At your caucus meeting.Vote #2: Convention... If delegateThis is the only one you will
miss out on if you are not selected as a delegate from your neighborhood to the
convention. And IMO it doesn't matter who is selected as the delegate, as
long as they have an open mind (meaning not committed to one specific candidate
yet).Vote #3: party primary election... individual vote (if you
bother to vote, only 6% did in my district in the last party primary 2013)Vote #4: General election... individual vote (if you bother to vote)
Only 50.5 percent of Utahns even bothered to cast a vote in the General
Election.====Using group representatives/delegates is
not a new or terrible thing. In ancient democracies one representative of each
family/clan would go to the counsel to vote. ===Myth
#11: That every individual will get the literature for each candidate and read
it before voting.
There are many myths concerning the caucus/convention system, as well as myths
in the CMV movement.Myth #1: That the delegate you select will
vote the way you would on every issue. That's an impossible
expectation.Myth #2: That the delegate commits to vote for a
certain candidate. Delegate volunteers should not (and usually don't)
stand up and take an oath before the caucus to vote for any specific candidate
or ballot initiative. They share their general philosophy and what they are
looking for in a candidate, and commit to keep an open mind and evaluate the
candidates with that philosophy guiding their vote (not a proxy for every
individual in the room).Myth #3: That delegates think they are more
politically savvy than other people. They do/should not claim any special
skill or wisdom. They need only promise an open mind and expose their
philosophy in general.Myth #4: That the delegate could possibly
vote exactly as each person in the room would vote. That's impossible.Myth #5: That the delegate needs to report back to you confirming they
voted the way you would.Myth #6-10: That you don't get to
If count my vote is implemented then all counties outside of the wasatch front
become irrelevant. Statewide candidates will travel between Ogden and Provo and
nowhere else. And unfortunately the majority of people pay no attention
to politics and have no clue about the issues.
If the caucus system were so wonderful, why hasn't it been adopted in all
the other states? They seem to be able to elect their representatives without
it. Why can't we?
@MaverickI once served as a delegate....elected to represent my
neighborhood. At the time I'd never even heard of the Sutherland Institute
and little of the Eagle Forum. But having said that...why are you so threatened
by them? People can think for themselves and filter out what is good and what
isn't. Both organizations bring some good things to the table...and some
things that are suspect. Big whoop. So do other organizations. Not sure how I
feel yet about the Count My Vote initiative but if your looking to follow the
money...seems to me like the Republican Establishment has the most to lose. The
push started with them and you really have to ask yourself why that is...
I'm sure that the letter writer would also think that he could make better
decisions than Mike Lee or his Representative in the House, but that's not
the way a Democratic Republic works. We are represented by others. We
don't have to talk to every candidate. The candidates don't have to
talk to every citizen and explain ad infinitum his views on every possible
subject. At the last caucus meeting, there were a lot of people who
came for the first time. Many of them stated that they were there to elect
Orrin Hatch. They didn't even know what a caucus meeting was. Many of
them, when asked, didn't know who the other candidates were, but that
didn't matter to them. They were there to elect Orrin Hatch.I've been told that many other precincts had the same "elect Uncle
Orrin" mentality. When I voted at the primary election, some
voters asked me who was running! That shows how much we need representatives
who don't think that voting is some kind of Lark, but a duty with the
responsibility to be informed on the issues and on the candidates.
Exactly. One needs to merely look at who is fighting the hardest to
keep the caucus system. Follow the money folks! The Sutherland Institute and
Eagle Forum. Why do they want to keep the caucus system so bad? So they can
continue to jam caucuses full of their delegates. This does our reps a
disservice in that they feel intimidated and must represent the radical right
wing agenda rather than the more moderate Utah voter. The only way
to fix this is for Count My Vote to pass. I want my voice to be heard. I'm
tired of bought off delegates from the Eagle Forum and Sutherland Institute and
ALEC stealing our elections.
Thank you Mr. Nebeker, nicely stated.
Well said, Gerald Nebeker -- you show hat you have a clue. Thank you for really
understanding what goes on with a caucus.