Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Both parties defend the caucus; is hope for reform lost?

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  • Cameron Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 1, 2013 10:27 a.m.

    It appears the winner of the caucus/no caucus debate will be the side that is more successful in branding their opponent as power hungry elitists. This oped is dripping with it, and many pro caucus arguments have that bent as well. It's all just P/R garbage.

    The bottom line re our caucus system is which method gives us more access to our representatives? In a primary or general election I am one of hundreds of thousands of voters. My elected officials simply don't have the ability to listen and respond to individual voter concerns with anything more than the sloganeering you hear on the airwaves. This means my vote and my voice is diluted, and it's more difficult to know what a candidate really stands for.

    Our caucus system changes all that. During convention season there are gatherings all over this state filled with candidates and incumbents talking to voters face to face. For months we have incredible access to our representatives. But as soon as conventions are over, those meetings stop and the tv ads start in full force. If we give up on the caucus, we'll be giving up real direct democracy.

  • Cherilyn Eagar Holladay, UT
    June 30, 2013 6:58 p.m.

    Frank and LaVarr: You use the label "mainstream Republican" because it communicates "the norm." However, many would like to know exactly what your definition of "mainstream Republican" is. What is the difference between a mainstream Republican, a conservative Republican and why is liberal Republican never used? Are there any liberal Republicans? What are the differences in philosophy and on platform plank?

    That would make an interesting column for both parties. The GOP has traditionally had the liberal wing and the conservative wing, also called the Reagan Wing and what used to be the Rockefeller Wing, now the Rove Wing.

    We typically call the "mainstream" media such because it's liberal. Is this a parallel, perhaps?

    The DC lobbyists and consultants and media agencies want to change Utah's election system to either California, Connecticut or Colorado because it makes them more money to run media races on sound bites. While we're rushing to be like California, Connecticut and Colorado, it's ironic that GOP leaders in those states have told me they want to be more like Utah.

  • New to Utah PAYSON, UT
    June 30, 2013 5:14 p.m.

    The Caucus system in Utah is amazing. Why would anyone want to delute grass roots politics? It really gives the person with an idea and not all the corporate or special interest backing a real chance to serve.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    June 30, 2013 3:38 p.m.

    Unless anyone hasn't noticed, both parties are dead. Fortunately, there are a few good men that slipped thru the cracks and are doing things the right way. Mike Lee was lucky. I like him so far! He actually believes in the constitution and limited government.

  • cns St George, Utah
    June 30, 2013 12:15 p.m.

    The Republicans have no incentive to change the current system. In the general election a substantial majority of Utahns will vote Republican in local, state-wide and Federal races.
    The Democrats had an opportunity to try to change that but chose not to. Status quo process - status quo results.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 30, 2013 12:25 a.m.

    If you are going to run as a Democratic candidate, you have to comply with their rules. If you are going to run as a Republican, you have to comply with their rules. If you want to run and not have those rules, you can run as an unaffiliated or independent, or run as a 3rd party candidate. “Count My Vote” is attempting to change all party rules by changing state laws by initiative, thus bypassing the political parties and the Legislature.

    If you change the way our Utah primary's work as they are proposing, you could have two republicans in the general election ballot (or two democrats).

    Much of the state there will just be republicans and part of Salt Lake County, just democratic candidates on the General Election ballot. And this is a good idea?

    Our only problem with voter turnout is it has not kept up with the population increase. The voter turnout keeps going up but not as fast as the population. Some of that is the younger voters, where Utah has a larger percentage of them and they aren't, as a group, as involved. Some move in and don't understand the system.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 30, 2013 12:18 a.m.

    The Caucus System in Utah is the best way to make sure a grass roots process can work over large amounts of money.

    When people realize this "Count My Vote initiative will give them less of a chance to participate but give media and power brokers more power, they will not sign any initiative. This is a power grab by Lobbyists, and those that have fame or money that want to run for office but don't believe they can win if vetted by average citizens asking one on one questions.

    We already have a "bypass" system. It is called filing as an unaffiliated candidate. You go straight to the general election. So if some don't think they can win if vetted by average citizens asking one on one questions, they can run that way and spend the money. Why should they be a party nominee if they are going to bypass the party?

    The present system does not protect the incumbent, the wealthy or the famous.

    Keep fair elections in Utah.