Richard Davis: Utah politics are about to change, despite parties

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  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Sept. 27, 2013 9:25 a.m.

    "His opinions do not necessarily reflect those of BYU." So what are the views of BYU and its sponsor? Is there an interest in having a wider base and net rather than effectively excluding those who might color outside the lines?

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 3:38 a.m.

    And the motive of the couple of people behind Count my Vote is what? We must change because it will be good for us and because they raised a half a million dollars, probably their own money, we must do things their way.

  • MikeRidgway 25 years in , UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 12:00 a.m.


    You would do well to put your primary focus on your own party. The corruption within that system, as practiced by party officers is legendary. Certainly you have heard the stories.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 8:40 p.m.

    The Caucus system had its chance.

    It gave us Mike Lee.

    Nuff said.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 3:38 p.m.

    The other development was last Saturday’s decision by the Republican State Central Committee once again to oppose reform of the caucus-convention system.


    I thought the "Count My Money" initiative was to ABOLISH the caucus sytem, not to reform it. Tell me if I am mistaken but it seems that this piece is more than a bit sloppy.

  • Winglish Lehi, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 1:49 p.m.

    @ J Thompson

    Allowing two candidates through the caucus and into the primary is a far cry from removing freedom. Get a grip on the hyperbole. I think the author here made some excellent suggestions that should be taken seriously. I particularly like the idea of allowing the top two finishers from each party into the primary.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    It's a question of whether we want to remain a democratic republic or whether we want some other form of government. Right now, the caucus system follows the concept of democratic republic perfectly. It requires us to elect delegates who do the hard work of "vetting" candidates. The incumbants don't want to be "vetted". Some don't want the public to see that their campaign promises were never fulfilled. Some don't want the public to see how they voted.

    If taking one evening every two years is too great a price to pay for freedom, then I have serious concerns about those citizens who want to make demands but refuse to do their duty.

    There are a few people who cannot attend a caucus meeting because of their work schedule. They should be accomodated by making it possible for them to assign a member of their precinct to be their proxy when voting takes place.

    When a group can raise $500,000 to push through a change that insures that incumbants will always appear on the ballot, we should be very suspicious about those who back that change and those who pay for that change.

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 11:06 a.m.

    Utah_1's ubiquitous posts in the comment threads of every DN article relating to the relative merits, or lack thereof, of the caucus/convention system in Utah are a microcosm example of what is wrong with the caucus/convention system. Just as Utah_1's comments dominate these threads (a practice known as "astroturfing"), the less-moderate/more-extreme zealots often dominate the caucus meetings. Among the politically-active, the fringe elements tend to be disproportionately represented, relative to their percentage of the voting public as a whole. They are also more likely to have a predetermined agenda, versus objectively evaluating candidates and representing their precincts; consequently, they are also more likely to "pack" the caucus meetings to ensure their agendas are implemented.

    Caucuses are no guarantee that the playing-field won't be slanted toward wealthy candidates, either. A candidate with a large war chest can make a pretty big splash in the caucuses and convention by funding an extensive and polished grassroots campaign.

    Rather than zealously defending an antiquated system, the brightest political minds should collaborate to take the best from the various alternatives to craft a candidate selection system that enfranchises the greatest number of voters.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Sept. 25, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    The Republican party is now dominated by right-wing extremists, and their office holders know it. Therefore, they will continue to pander to the crazies until the primary election system is changed. It's time for rational people to step up and change it.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Sept. 25, 2013 9:55 a.m.

    I cannot trust any system that is set up with the idea that the people cannot be trusted to vote directly, and thus their more "enlightened" neighbors should take it upon themselves to choose for them. The caucus system is bad, and it favors the well-connected and wealthy. I think it's hilarious that delegates somehow believe they are immune to the type of influence money can buy.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    Utah 1 must be a delegate who is worried about losing his power, you go back to how a Democrat won in the 30's?
    Sad how bad the republicans gerrymander the districts constantly and then complain that a democrat got elected in the 30's because the state got rid of caucuses briefly.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 7:44 a.m.

    one vote,
    We already have a "bypass" system, filing as an unaffiliated candidate. A candidate can go straight to the general election ballot. Someone who doesn't think they can win if vetted by average citizens asking one on one questions can still run and spend their money. Why should they be a political party nominee if they are going to bypass their political party?

    At only one time for 10 years in Utah’s history did the state depart from the Neighborhood Election, Caucus and Convention System. In 1937, a powerful democratic state senator convinced enough of the legislature to switch to an open primary. He had had two losses, a US Senate race and also for governor, because the majority of the convention delegates disagreed with his legislative voting record. But he was well known and had money.

    Many at the time felt like an open primary was his ticket to the governorship, and he did win. But the change in the system only lasted for a decade. After public and media disillusionment, and even worse voter turnout, Utah restored the Caucus and Convention System. Why go back?

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 5:10 a.m.

    The right attempts to purge the tea party radical right. That would be the "Orrin Hatch is a liberal" segment.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 12:33 a.m.

    We have a system that that does NOT favor the incumbent, the wealthy or the famous. This is a good thing, and should be preserved.

    The Neighborhood Election and Convention system in Utah is the best way to make sure a grassroots process can win over large amounts of money. It is the only way someone with $100,000 can go against someone with $2 million in election funds.

    We want neighbors discussing the best candidates and finding ways to improve this state and the nation. If the system is changed, we would be dropping off votes, but not meeting and discussing candidates and issues. That is what is wrong with Washington, D.C. They don’t listen to each other in a meeting. They watch from their offices. We need to change that, not perpetuate it.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 12:32 a.m.

    The State Republican Central committee didn't make the change some wanted on Saturday.They couldn't have, as the single proposal was something already voted down at the convention. What was proposed was a bad message bill. The myriad of changes and improvement that the state republican party is willing to make, just don't happen to match the demands of Count My Vote / Buy My Vote. Since that was voted again, the next proposed changes will be real. We want 250,000 to come to the neighborhood elections in 2014 and 500,000 in 2016. We want the meeting to remain a meeting.

    We have a system that that does NOT favor the incumbent, the wealthy or the famous. This is a good thing, and should be preserved.

    The system and the experience attending the meetings can always be improved, but the “Count My Vote” initiative isn't the way to do it. Any changes to the system the political parties use to determine their nominees should be determined by the political parties, and not by extortion or blackmail.