Caucuses are a sham

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  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 26, 2012 12:25 p.m.

    John Charity Spring,

    Caucuses are not INTENDED to fight against political extremism.

    Hint... The founding fathers of the United States were seen as "Politica Extreemists" in their day. Especially by the royal crown in England.

    The caucus system was never intended to be a tool to keep "Revolutionary" or "Politically extreem" views from being expressed... or to insure that the crown's people always got nominated and elected.

    I think it's a GOOD thing that the caucus system allows even people with what the ESTABLISMENT calls "Extreem" views to express themselves AND be represented.

    If it weren't for "Political Extreemists"... the United States would STILL be called "New England", or maybe even "New France" today.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 26, 2012 12:16 p.m.

    I have to agree with the observations in this opinion. But only if this was the only caucus you have ever attended. Most caucuses are not like this year's (where one issue dominated the caucus "Will you vote to nominate Hatch").

    Usually people want to hear the potential convention delegate's thoughts on a myriad of topics (not just if they will vote for Hatch or not).

    THIS caucus was a joke... unless all you cared about was Hatch (for or against).

  • Taylor Orem, UT
    March 26, 2012 12:56 a.m.

    I totally agree that the caucuses are a sham. At my caucus, we did mention the other offices that delegates will elect, but that was about as far as it could go--;mention. At least that occurred and we got a minimal expression of who the "candidates" would support. However, all registered voters should get to vote for the actual candidates. And why, if we elect delegates to conduct business at the convention, can they vote by secret ballot? All of this is clearly a hijacking of our rights, our votes, our representation in government.

    The Tea Party is supposedly named after the Boston Tea Party, a group who revolted because of taxation without representation. Yet, the modern Tea Party would disenfranchise voters and reinstate taxation without representation.

  • Furry1993 Clearfield, UT
    March 25, 2012 5:19 p.m.

    The best way to fix the problem with the caucuses is to eliminate them. At least, with a primary election vote, a voter can be sure his/her vote goes where s/he wants it to go. that's absolutely not true with a caucus.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    March 25, 2012 1:50 p.m.

    Only the election for the people's chamber, the House of Representatives, was originally chosen directly by the People.
    Nowadays it is different of course, Senators are also elected directly. Pursuing the same direction there seems to be a clamor for direct popular elections every time someone is to be chosen for public office or to be a candidate for elective office.

    I disagree entirely with a Primary in which a popular vote determines who the candidates for election shall be, and, especially as far as the Senate race is concerned, the full slate of candidates was largely unknown anyway making any thoughtful, intelligent choice impossible.

    I must say that the ads aired by KSL Radio didn't help, those in which KSL listeners were being directed to go to their caucuses for the express purpose of
    "voting for Orrin Hatch". I am afraid that the very ads on KSL are sometimes regarded as directions from God, and not a paid advertizement for a political candidate or supporting organization.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    March 25, 2012 1:17 p.m.

    This issue boils down to one simple question: is the caucus system the best way to fight political extremism? Clearly, the answer is no.

    The caucuses of both major parties were dominated by extremists. The views of the vast majority of citizens were simply not represented. Anyone with a moderate viewpoint was either discouraged from attending or was shouted down.

    The bottom line is this: political extremism is destroying this Country. The caucus system is a part of this destruction, and thus, must be eliminated.

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2012 12:24 p.m.

    Re: Mike Richards: I agree with your reasoning. But my point is that some delegate nominees will come with leanings for or against a particular candidate, and that's okay. To expect otherwise would be unrealistic. And, actually, if no nominees have any pre-conceived opinions about any candidates, that's a potential bad sign that nobody is paying much attention to what's going on in government.

    No, potential nominees should not come to a caucus with their mind completely made up. But if some nominees have certain candidate leanings, they should openly state those leanings. Then the attendees can take that into account in choosing the delegates, as long as they feel those delegates are trustworthy and will be diligent in vetting all the candidates (in spite of current leanings).

    This year most nominees (and attendees) leaned either for or against Hatch, and didn't care nearly as much about the other races. Therefore, it was entirely okay for the attendees to give that factor a lot of weight as they made their delegate choices (again, as long as they felt that those delegates could be trusted to vet all the candidates).

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    March 25, 2012 10:14 a.m.

    The same could be argued about our representative form of government. It sounds like the author wants an ancient Greek style of democracy.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    March 25, 2012 9:36 a.m.

    More like a ponzi scheme.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 25, 2012 8:30 a.m.

    How can so many people be so misinformed about the purpose of a caucus?

    The caucus is the only time that the PEOPLE are involved in selecting people from their community who will choose those candidates who are acceptable to the people of the precinct.

    The purpose of the caucus is NOT to vote on any candidate; it is to elect delegates who will vote on candidates at the nominating conventions. Trustworthy delegates from each community are elected to talk to the candidates, to listen to debates between candidates, to talk to the people of the precinct, and then to elect honest candidates at the nominating conventions.

    If people go to a caucus thinking that the purpose of the caucus is to elect delgates who have taken a blood oath to elect Senator Hatch or any other candidate, those people have gone with the wrong purpose in mind.

    The caucus is not some kind of pre-primary election. It is not the place where politicians pick the delegates; it is the place where the people tell the delegates to find an honest politician among all the candidates running for each office.

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2012 1:39 a.m.

    Yes, the caucuses were very much slanted this year toward the Senate race, but that only shows that people cared much more about that particular race this year, and not nearly as much about other races. So that's what most of the delegate selection was (and SHOULD have been) based on, because that's what the people cared about most. The caucuses work.

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    March 25, 2012 12:43 a.m.

    Well put.