Comments about ‘Letter: The masses are smart enough’

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Published: Thursday, Feb. 20 2014 3:19 p.m. MST

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2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I'm not concerned about intelligence. People who attend their caucus meetings are not more intelligent than people who don't. And people who get selected to be Convention delegates are no smarter than anybody else. They are just the person the neighborhood decided they trusted to represent them at the Convention.

We do this all the time. We don't all vote on every issue in Washington. We send a delegate/representative from our District/State to do it. This is not a new concept.

===

The people we send to Washington are no smarter than any of us. But they better be spending a LOT more time than I do researching each bill before they vote on it. That's the concept. Not intelligence, but we dedicate somebody to spend a TON of time researching every issue and vote according to their conscience.

And no.. they should not be trying to vote the way we would. They can't know how 2 million people would vote on every topic. They vote their conscience. That's what you are electing when we vote for someone... their conscience. IF you don't trust their judgement... don't vote for them.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The issues I have with turning party nominee selection over to a popularity contest is not about intelligence of the electorate. It's about HOW do you get your message to every person in the State (before you have won the right to Party help, and funding)?

You can't.

And how do you make sure every voter knows who you really are (not just who your opponent portrayed you to be in his commercials)? You can't!

And will the people actually take the time to research each candidate (not just listen to his commercial on TV)? Probably not. But it's not an issue of intelegence... it's an issue of time. We don't all have the time to research each candidate, each referendum, each party platform item, each bill, etc. It's not intelligence. It's the level of interest and dedication.

IF we were all interested, and willing to put in the time to research it all (like they do at Convention)... a popularity contest would be fine. But if we all cared, and researched all the topics... why do only 6% of us show up and vote at our party primary elections??

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The two most important things (to me) are:

1. That we all realize that people who get selected to be delegates do not think they are any more intelligent than anybody else. They just commit to spend the time we won't spend.

2. That we all have the right to vote, and every vote is counted equally (whether CMV passes or not).

We have Primary Elections (whether CMV passes or not). We need to start voting in them (not just 6%)

We have General Elections (whether CMV passes or not). We need to start voting in them (not just 50.5%).

IF you want your vote counted... go to your primary election and vote! Vote in the general election!

What happens in the caucus and convention does not limit your ability to vote and have your vote counted!

Convention just narrows the field to 2 candidates (for the party primary). We don't all have to be involved in that process. But representatives selected by us should be.

We DO all need to vote in our respective party-primary though (not 6%). And the General Election.

Curmudgeon
Salt Lake City, UT

2 Bits:

I agree that more people should vote in primaries. Maybe one reason they don't is that they feel already disenfranchised by only getting a choice between two candidates selected by caucus delegates who do not represent their wishes. Without that limitation imposed by the caucus system, there might be more candidates on the primary ballot, more people might become involved in researching which one matches their positions best, and more people might vote in the primary. How is that a bad thing? And don't say the masses are too lazy or ignorant to make a wise choice among more than two candidates. That was the whole point of the letter.

high school fan
Huntington, UT

Just remember that 50% of the eligible voters in this state do not know any of our elected officials nor do they know the number of counties in this state nor can they name all of the states that touch utah.
Does this not scare you?

PeanutGallery
Salt Lake City, UT

Mr. Driggs: Nice straw man argument. In your effort to attack the caucus system, you have misquoted the letters of Russell and Larsen. Go back to their recent letters, and they didn’t say any of the things you have blasted in your letter. The caucus system is the right system.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

How many candidates for all offices did Jeffrey Driggs, the letter writer, personally talk to? How many did he require to answer all questions that concerned him? How much time did he take to vett those candidates? How long would it have taken? An hour per candidate? Thirty-minutes? How many candidates were there? Fifty? Twhenty-five? Ten? Does he even know how many ran as candidates for all of the offices? If he only spent twenty hours vetting candidates, and there are over 50,000 voters in Utah, does he think that every candidate can spend thirty minutes with each citizen?

The more you look at Count My Vote, the more preposterous it is.

We have delegates because, believe it or not, most of us are too busy to vett each and every candidate. If we vote without knowing a candidate we have abdicated our responsibility as citizens.

The caucus system elects delegates where EACH delegate vetts a FEW of the candidates. They're not expected to vett all of the candidates, yet CMY would have each citizen spend every free moment vetting candidates. What are they thinking?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I know the masses are smart enough. But the masses need to start voting in the party primary they already have before they claim they are interested enough to replace the Convention.

Every vote counts. They already do! You have to show up to your party primary if you want your vote counted! Till then, how do you prove you are interested enough to replace the Convention?

===

Not showing up because you are disenfranchised... is bunk.

So one candidate you wanted came in 3rd at Convention. Obviously the other 2 are OK. You don't always get EVERYTHING you want in life. Elections are the same. My favorite rarely makes it to the general election, but I don't just sit home and mope about disenfranchisement. I figure out who would be best for the country (out the 2 available) and hold my nose and vote!

Do you think I was thrilled about Romney, McCain or Obama? No. Loved Kerry, Gore, or Bush? No. But do I sit home and whine about disenfranchisement? No. I go vote!

The 94% of Utahns who just sit home because the person they wanted didn't make it... need to grow up.

Sal
Provo, UT

That's right 2-bits; we send people to Washington all the time to represent us, but we have the right to directly elect them. We don't need delegates to do it for us. The old caucus system makes it so that candidates only have to answer to a handful of people. They need to represent all of us, not just the fringe elements of the party.

Mark l
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

The US system of goverbpnment is not set up to be a democracy by design. There are supposed to be checks and balances so no one has too much power. The caucus system provides a check on powerful incumbent candidates. We need to keep it relatively easy to remove politicians from office, since term limits are not going to happen.

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

How can anybody be "smart" enough to choose a candidate on the basis of a slick, say-nothing, brochure or two? What's there to choose when "the party" chooses the candidate for you? or chooses the choices you have, or does not adequately inform you about all available choices? There needs to maximum opportunity for vetting the candidates. The caucus system is the best.

The caucus sytem is a good one but we should beware of the machinations of the cunning and crafty, who will try and pervert and misuse ANY system for the love of money or the praise of man.

Be there, be armed with all the information you can get beforehand, and do not let the organizers or partisans of a particular incumbent or other candidate, rush through, promising to get you out of there in an hour or less. Be ready to ask questions. Imagine you are vetting your future spouse; you want someone who won't waste your money and will give and not just receive, someone who is selfless, someone who is wise and honest, has nothing to gain, and does not speak in platitudes.

cmsense
Kaysville, UT

People want to vote for candidates not delagates. Who has time to spend hours at a caucus to elect a delagate who may or may not vote for the candidate you want. That's very discouraging to participation for those of us with busy less flexible jobs and family responibilities.. Let me spend three hours learning about candidates positions and arguments at the place of my convienience (at home if I like) and one minute voting. The masses don't vote in primaries. It will be those that care enough to vote and the politicians should trust them. People are very busy with jobs and families and it shouldn't be just those with a lot of time on their hands that think they should vote for the rest of us. SB 54 is offensive. If politicians want to help the electorate, set up a central website where potential candidates can put forth their veiws and arguments but absolutely change to a direct primary system. Why is Utah in the stone age?

"When government suppresses the people it is not in the people's interest but for their own want for power"

Utefan60
Salt Lake City, UT

Mike Richards still comes up with the Eagle Forum idea that the delegates have more knowledge than the ordinary citizen to make the choices of candidates. They have interviewed them so they are more "in tune".

This just isn't true. Those caucuses are loaded with people like the Eagle Forum who do not represent the majority of Utah voters. They are not there to get the best candidate. They load the caucuses to push their own agenda. And that agenda is not what the vast majority of Utah voters believe. They have been discovered and people in Utah want to have a voice against these people. The is a reason 100,000 people have signed the petitions. And the Eagle Forum and Sutherland Institute wont give up this fight easily.

mark
Salt Lake City, UT

So let me get this right, you guys think it is a good idea, in today's instant communication society, to elect someone else to elect your representatives for you.

Very funny. Back in the day, when information and travel moved very slow, it would have made sense. But today? Not at all. It's silly just on that basis, but more then that, what in the world do you know about any one that wants to be a delegate, unless they are your friend or family? Do the delegates take part in debates do you get a sense of what they think? Do they have any kind of voting record to help you get an idea of what they care about? Do they ever get interviewed? In fact, do you know anything about these people besides what they say in a short speech? And yet you are more then willing to give them your vote so they choose who you will get to vote on?

Also, I wonder if someone like Mike Lee would be a bit less extreme if they knew they had to answer to all the citizens of Utah, and not just a few radical delegates.

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