Group pushing new way to choose political candidates in Utah

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  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 8, 2013 8:48 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. There are also 3rd party.

    This is an attempt to change the party rules by state law, bypassing the party and is even an attempt to change the law bypassing the legislature.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 8, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    The caucus system is the best way to make sure grass roots movements can work over large amounts of money. It is the only way someone with $100,000 can go against someone with $2,000,000 in election funds.

    There were about 60,000 republicans in Utah that went to the neighborhood caucus elections in 2010 to elect the 3500 delegates. Add to those numbers to democrats and the primary elections and certainly the municipal elections didn't do any better in voter representation.

    In 2012 the number showing up again doubled. You look at primary turnout and you will see that few voters would decide.

    Most people that want the caucus system changed, there are exceptions, are frustrated that they don't have as much power as people that show up to the neighborhood election caucus meetings. It doesn't take money, you just have to show up.

    What we need are more people getting involved earlier, not shutting down the system that protects us from power hungry people wanting to take over.

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 8, 2013 12:34 a.m.

    Don't change the caucus/delegate system. It works fine and has the best chance to give us the best candidates.

  • Vaughn J Kearns, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 8:41 p.m.

    The issue is whether an individual who is not selected by the caucus system should be allowed to cloud the primary ballot for the various parties. The Caucus system allows representatives of the electorate, that made the effort to attend the caucuses, to visit with those individuals that desire to run for specific offices. The delegates, although not all, tend to take the time to become familiar with the various candidates positions whereas the general electorate usually only hears sound bites to base their decisions on.

    If the elected delegates have any integrity I would expect them to follow the rule of the majority of those at the caucuses. This is the only factor that may cause this process to not result in the desired candidate of the majority. If the delegates do a good job of vetting the candidates then it is most likely that either a single candidate is selected for the General Election, or two of the top three candidates are selected to run in the primary. This process results in less expense for those individual that make it to the general election, and results in the final candidate receiving a majority of the votes cast.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 6:56 p.m.

    I don't know about the Democrats in Utah, but the State Republican Party leaders will hate this idea. They like being the small, activist minority than can wag the dog. Perhaps they will say that it's not right for a state law to dictate how a party chooses its candidates. Perhaps they don't want the majority of Utahns to have control--it's too much like democracy.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 6:37 p.m.

    It could be a good idea. We need a little more information, however.

    As it is, nominations at the convention are too often made by a very, very small minority even of Republican party members. Thus, the extremists can pack the most power.

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    Jan. 7, 2013 4:56 p.m.

    So, let me get this straight. Assuming Republican since, while I don't know, I think I've seen stats that say that of those who actually affiliate with a party more people are ACTUALLY registered as Republicans than Democrats. So as of November's election there were about 15k to 20k registered voters in a State Rep. district and assuming about 40% are registered Republicans. So if a state rep candidate doesn't make it through the convention be getting enough votes from the 40 - 60 delegates chosen by the 800 - 1000 caucus attendees to cast their votes for them, then they can get on the primary ballot by getting about 120 Republicans (15,000 * 40% * 2%) in the district to sign a petition? Yeah, that's much better. Seems definitely worth dictating to the respective parties who can represent them. C'mon..if we don't like the caucus/convention system anymore let's just scrub it. If we think it's representative of a Republic (ie. 635 in congress making decisions for 300 million + of us) then let's quit trying to mess with it.