Published: Tuesday, March 25 2014 3:00 p.m. MDT
Kerry, if you’re concerned that things are moving along too quickly, then
you need to speak up, express your concern, and ask more questions. The caucus
agenda allows for that. Let your voice be heard, in a civil, constructive
manner. The caucus system works well, but you may need to HELP it work well,
within the outlined framework.
So you didn't come to the 6pm to 7pm pre meeting to talk to the delegates
prior to the 7pm start?You do realize that both Jason Chaffetz and
Mike Lee won their initial party nominee in Primaries and not at convention.
In the meeting that I attended, we were told to come an hour early to discuss
all issues. Most of us did. We were prepared to do our duty. We didn't
make our own rules and then complain because we didn't follow the rules set
by the party.We knew the candidates that ran for office or who
desired to become delegates. We've worked with them in many community
projects for years. We knew their character. We KNEW them as well as we know
family. That's why a caucus works. It's easy to
criticise the caucus when your agenda is to promote Count My Vote, but the
caucus is not the place to debate the candidates running for county and State
office. Many of those candidates filed on the day the caucus was held! How
could anyone know the mind and will of those candidates? The delegates'
job is to vett those people after talking with them, not before.
I had a hoot at my caucus, though I agree with the author.we were
told to come early, but just to make sure we were registered and authorized to
vote in the caucus. Our candidates for delegate were not even nominated until
well after the meeting started - we had no real time to vet them. How could we
talk to our delegates before hand if we didn't know who they were? and if
they had already been selected, what was the point of the meeting. That's
why a caucus does NOT work.What a joke. I did have a fun time,
In our caucus meeting the only person willing to do all the duties of the
chairman ran unopposed for that position. The others who won positions as
delegates were the people who weren't foolish enough to publicly admit to
being moderates. Nobody could tell me what the issues even were for state and
county. Sure, everyone hates Obamacare, but what does that have to do with the
Can't speak to the relevance of the GOP caucuses, but I love the "speed
dating" comment. As unaffiliated voters, my wife and I attended the
Democratic caucus. Since we were the only ones to show up from our precinct, I
am now the precinct chair and a delegate to the state convention, and my wife is
a provisional delegate, even though we are not even party members. Welcomed with
open arms. At least I know that my views will be well represented at the state
convention. But this system really is ridiculous and is not at all democratic.
Too bad the "Count My Vote" people caved in to the compromise. Oh well,
at least in the future I'll be able to vote in Republican primaries.
The irony of the caucus system is it gave us Mike Lee. After seeing how
ineffective and partisan he's been the people have finally risen up and
demanded changes to the system that failed us. More people particapating and
voting is a good thing for democracy and a bad thing for those idealogues who
currently control our political system. Kudos to the letter writer for pulling
the curtains back on the charade of a system that has given us some of the worst
representatives we have ever had.
In a way I think "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", and Utah
has some of the best governance in the country. Even Democrats have to admit
that we have don't have the budget problems of Illinois or California, and
this state is a good place to live and do business. We should also admit that
it's annoying to have a person who studies the issues carefully and vets
the candidates get his vote canceled out by a "low information voter"
who thinks about politics for a few minutes each year right before election day.
That's why even though my views didn't prevail in the caucus I
attended I think it's a good system.
The beauty of the caucus system is that it gave us Mike Lee. Bennett would not
stand up for Constitutional principles (look at his record). Hatch does not
stand up for Constitutional principles (look at his record). Most members of
Congress will not stand up for Constitutional principles (look at their
records). Mike Lee stands for the Constitution. Those of you who
think that the Constitution is outdated will tell us that Mike Lee has done
nothing. Those of you who think that Congress can pass any law at any time
about anything will tell us that Mike Lee is wrong; but, those of us who have
read the Constitution, who know the limits that we have put on Congress, who
actually believe that the oath taken by members of Congress is binding on them,
know that Mike Lee is one of the few who is qualified by his knowledge and by
his conduct to be a member of Congress.Yes, the caucus system made
it possible for Mike Lee to be in office. Thank God for honest people at the
precinct level who voted their conscience.
Our local Republican caucus was perfectly dominated by two highly organized
right wing ladies who essentially controlled everything. It was a sight to
behold as they shut down every voice but their own and their allies'.
Ken De Forrest: Oh well, at least in the future I'll be able to vote in
Republican primaries.And this is what's wrong with the count my
vote systemI do not want open primaries where dems can cross the line in a
state where they don't have to worry about their candidate to knock off a
stronger candidate on the Republican side! I hope that isn't what Mr De
Forrest is saying.Kudos to Mike Lee. One of the few honest
politicians in the congress. I'm sure Bennett was a good man, but his
travels with harry reid left an impression.
I think it's interesting that you use Mike Lee and Jason Chaffetz as
examples of how the Caucus system doesn't work. But their first attempt an
running for office took them to a Primary. Where they won. So, I don't
see how the caucus system doesn't work, if the results of the Primary were
similar to the results of the caucus/convention.
As alluded to above, the Republican party did a huge disservice to the party by
allowing changes to the caucus system. What we undoubtedly will wind up with is
democrats making decisions for the Republican party.Political
parties SHOULD be allowed to make rules for their own party. The opposition
party needs to do whatever they can to draw voters. Thats their problem, not
the problem of the opposite party.I fail to see how a
"direct" primary would give those who feel disenfranchised by the
present system any more of a voice than they have in their current caucus
meetings.At the caucus meetings, not everyone gets their own way.
So what? You get to find out how your neighbors feel about issues. You can
still write in WHOEVER you want on your ballot when it comes time to vote.This whole caucus vs. direct primary issue is based around the idea that
some people think they should have more say in who gets elected than other
people.Obviously, the "buy my vote" backers became sad
because THEY couldn't have the loudest voice. Sadder still is that the
Republican-controlled legislature gave them what they wanted!!
Star Bright and Fitness Freak,I wouldn't worry too much about
outsiders voting in your party's election. NH used to be among the reddest
of states. It had open primaries but "mischief" votes by Democrats were
simply not an issue. They were too interested in supporting their own
candidates.Open primaries may allow more independent voters to not
register as Republicans(in NH they actually registered as independents). But,
if you have good candidates, the open primary system can help engage the
independent voters for your candidates.
I completely agree with this article since my experience has been very similar.
Once again this year we had a small group who were able to dominate the voting
although their views do not represent our precinct as a whole. They were there
to elect a specific candidate but dominated all of the elected positions, all of
which were contested.My wife and I left feeling very
disenfranchised. I'm glad this is the last year under the current system.
@utcyclistThat's the way the majority of caucus's have been run
for years and would have continued if not sabotaged by the right wing
idealogues. They have sucessfuly used the system to pack our goverment with
ineffective, partisan politcans who know little of our constitution or how to
govern alongside others with different views. Most claim to be "true
Americans" who understand the constitution and our country's problems
more than others. What they did was wake up the masses who realize that many
they have jammed into office can't govern. Change is coming and the people
will once again have a voice in their goverment.
"A political party has a First Amendment right...to choose a candidate
selection process that will in its view produce the nominee who best represents
its political platform." -Justice Scalia in Democratic Party v. WisconsinWhat the mega wealthy, political elite backers of CMV initiative and
members of the legislature who struck the "Grand compromise", want is
the right to the Republican Brand. The last two election cycles in UT prove that
no one group controls the Utah GOP.2010 the elected delegates denied
Sen. Robert F. Bennett place on the primary ballot, Moderate Tim Bridgewater
with 58% of the delegate vote, conservative Mike Lee with 42%. Lee won the
election.2012 Produced an entirely different result, Moderate Sen.
Orrin Hatch and Conservative Utah Sen. Dan Liljenquist emerged from the
convention with 59.19% and 40.81%. Hatch won the Election.The
selection of the process to select candidates is what is protected by the 1st
amendment. The outcome is determined by those who choose to show up and
participate.Utah must prove political parties in UT are blatantly
discriminating, based on race, religion, gender etc... or SB54 will be proven
unconstitutional if the Political parties choose to fight in federal district
The caucus system is a throw back to tribal politics where the groups elders
decided what was best for the group. It shows, and sometimes rightfully so,
that there is little faith in the actual voting public to be smart enough to
vote for their own people. But it also at face value seems to be
exclusionary. It is weighted to favor the old and established, and is designed
to keep outsiders - out. It create barriers to participate. Well
intended... yes. Perhaps useful when time and distance were factors. But
today, it is a relic of a time past. But at the end of the day, it is up to the
Republicans to decide how they pick the candidates. The fact that
"independent" is the fastest growing and soon largest voting block in
Utah should tell Republicans though what the people think about it.
Mr LDS religion tells me not to vote for a "party" but for good, wise
and honest candidates. So what do I do if I am required to register as a
Republican or a Democrat before attending a caucus meeting? I then must
register as a Republican if that is the party whose candidates are most likely
to be elected and also to have at least one or two potential candidates who are
constitutionalists.We are not thrilled by the available parties but
there are some good candidates, generally aligned to the Republican Party but
frowned on by the Old Guard Republicans and typical Democrats alike. I must
then register Republican and vote for the most constitutional delegate, if there
is one. It is frustrating but I am convinced that the caucus system is the
better system to have a voice in the political process.
I would much rather vote for a candidate than a delegate. In that respect, the
caucus system is seriously flawed. A primary election would be far better. To those who think Mike Lee is one of which to be proud: He is finally
-- finally -- figuring out why he is Washington DC. We hardly need another
constitutional scholar in Washington. There are too many of those already
there. We need a Senator who will work for and protect the best interests of
Utah. Congress, who has the powers of the purse, is all about maintaining and
procuring funding for facilities/programs within the states. Mr
Lee has heck to pay when he votes against important funding bills for Utah and
her counties. The PILT bill is one example. I think he learned from this. Will he step up and be able to maintain HAFB when Mr. Hatch is gone?
That will be his first big test. Mr Hatch demands - and gets - an audience from
those who would reduce the size of HAFB. Is Mr Lee up to the test? He has a
few more years to build his stature and clout. Then the 'mantle' of
being the senior senator is his.
DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.— About comments