Caucus system works

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  • Furry1993 Clearfield, UT
    March 25, 2012 5:22 p.m.

    The people and the country are important, political parties are not important. The caucus system does not work. 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.

  • Alex H. Provo, UT
    March 25, 2012 4:53 p.m.

    To those who keep complaining that caucuses about the party, not the people as a whole, I'm willing to cede that point. However, you aren't even representing the active, voting membership of your parties in caucuses. I have to move a lot due to my student status; I can't be a delegate. As a result, this Republican's voice cannot possibly be heard in Utah. I went to the caucus informed, but I couldn't (1)speak about issues or candidates due to time (in fact, Robert's rules of order shut down effectively ALL discussion in my precinct), (2) run as a delegate, (3) get anything out of most of the delegates beyond a 30-second speech, or (4) figure out any other way in which ANYONE who was not a delegate was present. This system isn't democratic or republican. It's mobocratic, unless a minority make it oligarchic. The caucus system, with its TOTAL lack of accountability to the party membership, has permanently failed.

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    March 25, 2012 3:48 p.m.

    @VST, thanks, I've read it. I don't think the current law serves the best interest of Utah's citizens. However, as long as political parties have quasi-official status around here, they are not "private" groups conducting "private" business, and the caucus system is nothing less than mass disenfranchisement.

  • Independent Thinker West Jordan, UT
    March 25, 2012 1:29 p.m.

    The caucus system has a few elements worthy of retention, however, exclusion is not one of them.

    Even as registered Republicans, only delegates get to vote for party candidates. The rest of us merely have the opportunity to vote for those few delegates - who have no direct power to impact laws. At the very most, we have may have up to 90 minutes to interview and make choices as to who those delegates should be. More often than not, we only have a few minutes to hear from those wishing to become delegates. It's not a system that fosters informed decision making. The most common roadblock is that more often than not, even those wishing to become delegates don't have much of an idea who they will vote for in convention except for maybe the most high profile candidates.

    Fear of incumbency, monied candidates, special interests, etc. are not constitutionally protected concerns trumping the interests of registered voters. Any system that removes the vast majority of individual party voters from the initial process of selecting their elected office holders, is a severely flawed system.

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    March 25, 2012 12:37 p.m.

    Question, what is the difference of radical right hijackings and hijackings by the keep him in till he dies element? I still believe the election process should be open to all your party members and quit intimidating the timid in a large group setting. Next thing we know participants will exercise Utah's "stand your ground law" just to be heard. Just another reason people are disenfranchising

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    March 25, 2012 9:52 a.m.

    The letter presupposes that parties ought to have the power to put people's names on the general election ballot, with the party names next to the party's candidates. Party people keep talking about how political parties are private entities and caucuses are how they conduct their own private business. I say let them be private entities, and don't let them put candidates' names, or their own party name, anywhere on the ballot.

    PeanutGallery says our caucus system "helps motivate our politicians to keep their word." I disagree. The caucus system helps motivate politicians to appease the extreme elements within their political party. Witness the drastic rightward shift of Orrin Hatch. I much preferred the guy when he would actually work with people and solve problems. Now he's just playing the grandstanding game with his new obstructionist colleague, Mike Lee. The caucus system serves the interests of extremists and strips the majority of participants of a real voice in the process. If that's what it's supposed to do, then it certainly does "work."

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2012 1:41 a.m.

    Great letter. I agree. Our caucus system helps to counteract the overwhelming power of incumbency, and helps motivate our politicians to keep their word. The caucus system gives a voice to those who are willing to make the sacrifice and effort to participate in the process. Keep the caucus system as is.