Comments about ‘Leavitt: Romney backs Count My Vote initiative’

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Published: Sunday, Feb. 23 2014 10:00 p.m. MST

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Lehi, UT

"Be sure to plan so that you can attend your caucus this year and see what it's all about! "

This is another problem with the caucus system. Some people are just not able to attend (work, young children, sick kids). In a primary election you would have a day to figure out when you could go cast a vote instead of being required to attend at a specific time for 2 or more hours. The caucus system is not practical for everyone.

LaVerkin, Utah

Sherlock Holmes makes the unsupported statement:
"The caucus supporters cannot frame an answer to a simple question:

Why not vote on the candidates instead of the delegates? It is time to remove the middlemen/women"

Well Sherlock, here is a very good answer. The caucus system is indeed voting for a candidate. But, it is not based upon big money television ads to base that choice. The caucus goer has studied the merits not based on thirty second television ads but upon his or her reasoned and studied out ideas about the merits of the candidates. The caucus goer then discusses this reasoned opinion with others at the caucus, and in some instances is influenced by his or her neighbors of a better candidate. Now, they choose a representative to pursue the best interests of that chosen candidate. That representative is obligated to vote for the chosen candidate at least on the first round of voting at the party convention. (to be continued)

LaVerkin, Utah

(continuation) But, at the actual convention, the chosen representative, after casting his or her first vote for the chosen candidate, sees that the chosen candidate simply does not have sufficient support to at least come in with sufficient votes to force a primary election in which the chosen candidate will be on the primary ballot. In that case, the chosen representative has the benefit of the knowledge that he or she obtained at the caucus to chose the best candidate remaining, thus giving his neighbors back home a second chance to vote for a candidate. If fortunately, the chosen candidate is voted at the party convention to be the actual candidate or forced into a primary election, those caucus goes who voted to chose to support that candidate at the caucus did indeed vote for a candidate.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Esquire" you are wrong. Even with the caucus system votors still choose their representatives. The caucus system is more in line with the US Constitution than the Count My Vote plan is. Under the Constitution each state is to have a Republican form of government. A Republic is NOT a Democracy. A republic has its citizens electing officials to represent them. The caucus system has people electing neighborhood representatives, who then go to the larger meetings to elect the next layer of representatives.

You vote for your representative, no different than voting for a city council member or local government official.

Dr. Coach
Bountiful, UT

Well said TandJ! You're spot on about big money buying our votes in order to get a liberal progressive candidate on the republican ballot.

Mitt Romney sees a direct primary as an efficient way to poll the people. Sadly, all that education and business acumen lost on the simple fact that BUY MY VOTE will give us less good candidates not more. We'll have one choice between a liberal progressive democrat and a liberal progressive republican. And we'll have big money buying all our votes. The people will be set out to pasture. And the only candidate contact with the public will be on TV or fund raising dinners.

Say no to Buy MY VOTE. Its bad, bad, bad for Utah.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

So you know where I'm coming from, I am routinely unable to attend my caucus meeting.

That said, anyone who wants to kill the caucus system and go to a straight primary is a fool. There is a reason the rich people in this state are trying to change to a primary: because it would increase the importance of money on the system. Bob Bennett had $4 million in his campaign account from special interests - money he'd spent six years raising - which did him no good after he lost at the convention. Why would you want to get rid of a system that downplays the value of money?

Finally, there is no reason to think a straight primary will give us better candidates. For those of you who hate Mike Lee, remember: Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Todd Akin were all chosen via primaries, not caucuses. Pick a non-Utah politician you hate, left or right, and the odds are that he or she was chosen by a primary, not a caucus.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

Reasons to support a caucus-convention-primary system over a staright primary:

1) Field of candidates is narrowed down to two. Under Count My Vote, you could have, in theory, hundreds of candidates running for an office. There would be no runoff. A candidate would win with far less than 50% of the vote.

2) Money from special interests is less important. Delegates - respected members of the community - get to meet with candidates and ask them questions directly. It is not about silly commercials, like the stupid Bennett commericials from 2004 where he made fun of his looks. It's about real issues.

3) It gives you two shots at holding an incumbent accountable. Incumbents always have the advantage, especially in terms of money. They need to be held to a higher standard to get re-elected.

4) Because the rich people oppose it. There's a reason the rich people in this state want to to get rid of the caucus-convention system, and it has NOTHING to do with your best interests. They are not doing this out of charity - they are doing it for greed.

Brigham City, UT

Re: "A republic has its citizens electing officials to represent them. The caucus system has people electing neighborhood representatives, who then go to the larger meetings to elect the next layer of representatives."

And if the candidates are chosen by primaries instead of caucuses we will still be a republic, we will still have a representative form of government.

The fact that we elect people to represent us in the government in no way implies or requires that we must choose representatives to choose the representatives to choose the representatives to choose the candidates for public office, instead of simply choosing the candidates ourselves in a primary election. It is not one of the requirements of a republic that there be layer after layer after layer of representatives until you finally get down to the actual voters. There is nothing anti-republican in eliminating the caucus-middlemen and having the voters select the candidates for public office themselves in primary elections, just as they elect their representatives in Congress themselves in congressional elections.


Well, if the caucus system is what brought us Jason and Mike, I gotta go with anything different

Cottonwood Heights, UT

"Well, if the caucus system is what brought us Jason and Mike, I gotta go with anything different."

Like the primaries that gave us Nancy Pelosi, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Sharron Angle, Barbara Boxer, etc?

Someone you don't like got elected - we gotta change the system!

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, perhaps "UTAHVOTES.com" 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"

Draper, UT

Although I have supported both Mike Leavitt and Mitt Romney in the past, I must respectfully disagree with them on this issue. The "count my vote" initiative does not allow more people to choose who the candidates will be, it reduces the number who will be involved in that process. By the time a primary is held, the decision will have already been made about who will be allowed by the powers that be to run for office, and the campaign will have been run by those with the most money to put into it. This is a case of those who consider themselves to be the leaders of the parties against the rank and file of the parties making decisions in the caucuses. I have participated in caucuses in Utah and in Washington state, and have voted in primaries in California, and find the Utah caucus system to be the most responsive to those who show up at the caucuses. And the people who show up at the caucuses are generally more knowledgeable about the issues than are those who just show up to vote in the primaries.

Los Gatos, CA

I am not from Utah or Massachussets, but I wish that Mr. Romney would just fade into obscurity with the rest of those who have lost presidential elections. The less he keeps foisting himself on the American people, the less misconceptions about Mormonism I have to clear up with my neighbors. People often think that Romney's positions are the Mormon positions, and I find most of his positions objectionable.

G L W8

Coming after a series of arguments for and against CMV, I suspect this comment won't get much attention. But the truth of the matter is: neither retention of the current system or adoption of CMV will retain or give the power back to the people. The problem is in the parties. They have manipulated the primary election/caucus/convention system to the point where the parties have all the power. Supreme court cases notwithstanding, the only system that works is a blanket primary system where voters can vote for the candidate--ANY candidate--without regard to party affiliation. I say that if either of the political parties want the control to select their own slate of candidates for the general election, let them use whatever system they want--at PARTY expense, not use of PUBLIC FUNDS or government employees. Their candidates could then run against candidates of the PEOPLE'S choice, with concomitant risks.

Salt Lake City, UT

IMO we have a group of politicians (Mitt and Mike) who are currently on the outside, looking in. Mitt can't seem to retire from the public stage. He doesn't live here, except for a vacation now and then. Why is he butting in? Hasn't he a company to rescue to occupy his time?

Mike appears to be longing for the hallowed halls of the Senate. I perceive he awaits a change in the caucus system to accept a "draft" to replace that renegade Senator Lee. He well knows the caucus system would expose him and his record to close scrutiny and the mild mannered ex-governor/secretary facade could be marred. Maybe he could write a book or lecture at a University.

Political parties are private entities whose members choose their candidates for the general public election, in November as they see fit. No outside help is needed.

The Republican Party leadership is progressive - mild and the base is conservative - a lot. The capos in charge are frustrated that the rank and file aren't "showing respect".

G L W8

Strider 303: "Political parties are private entities whose members choose their candidates for the general public election, in November as they see fit. No outside help is needed."

Which only goes to prove my point. Political parties are extra-constitutional at best. Why do we permit them so much power?

Norco, CA

Mitt has a voice of reason. That is why 55% of people who voted for President Obama this past election would not have voted for him now. They regret their vote. Mitt please run in 2016 we need your experience to get America moving again in the right direction.

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