Letter: Proportional votes

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  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 18, 2013 10:03 a.m.

    RE: "The caucus systems removes the government even further from the voters, which is contrary to the founders' intentions."...

    lost in DC, can you give some proof of that?

    The founding fathers wanted our SENATORS to be delegates (appointed by the State Legislators). So... how were they against this concept of using delegates??

    Article I, section 3, states "The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote."

    Are you not aware of history and how the founding fathers actually set it up?

    They used delegates (not a primary or vote of the people).

    That changed in 1913. And you can say that it changed for the better (and I wouldn't argue). But you can NOT say that it's the way the Founding Fathers wanted it to be.

    Obviously it is NOT the way our founding fathers intended (for everything to be a direct vote). They used Delegates and Representatives EXTENSIVELY in the original Constitution.

    I have no problem with electing Delegates. I also have no problem with Primaries. Utah already has a party primary (6% turnout).

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 5:25 p.m.

    Re: "The fact is, the caucus system allows for a small, motivated minority to have an amount of influence over the choice of candidate that is wildly disproportionate . . . ."

    Actually, that's a perfect description of the "Buy My Vote" initiative.

    Of course, that's exactly what it's moneyed-interest proponents intend.

    THEY want to be that small, motivated, well-heeled minority, whose money gives them that wildly disproportionate influence over the choice of a candidate that they don't have now, BECAUSE of the caucus system.

    Utah voters abandoned caucuses once, and regretted it, because it played into the hands of elitist, moneyed interests, most of whom don't share our values.

    Why in the world would we want to make that same mistake again?

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 3:51 p.m.

    while I generally agree with your comments, I wholeheartedly disagree with the caucus system.

    If my delegate to the state convention supports the same candidates I support for governor, state treasurer, and house of representatives, but supports candidates I oppose for US senate and state auditor, how do the candidates I support for US senate and state auditor receive my support? They do not. Thus, I do not have equal representation with someone who supports in lock-step the candidates the delegate supports.

    The only time I really have equal representation is when I completely agree with the delegate's choices, which will be rare.

    The caucus systems removes the government even further from the voters, which is contrary to the founders' intentions.

    As to the current system allowing those with meager funds to be viable candidates - can caucus supporters honestly say their poorly funded candidates will be viable in the general election?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    If you don't know what the Buy-My-Vote campaign is about... just look at who's behind it! Rich ex-politicians (mostly Republicans) who want to insure that their brand stays in power, and that only people who they can control and who pledge to be faithful to them are elected.

    Do you WANT these rich ex-politicians running their political puppets from behind the scenes?

    If you do... then give them what they want (Control over Utah's elections).

    If you want only establishment candidates who have been bought and paid for over the years and have proven their loyalty to the people running things from behind the scenes... by all means give these people whatever they want. Give them more control of who gets on the ballot. Give them control of who gets elected. That's what their after.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Oct. 17, 2013 10:50 a.m.

    The caucus system gives every Republican in Utah the same representation. We are divided into precincts. Each precinct elects delegates to represent the wishes of that precinct in the nominating convention. Each Republican is represented in the nominating convention by his delegate. Money has little influence in a caucus meeting and little influence in the nominating convention. The delegates are honor bound to talk to the various candidates and then to vote for the candidate that best represents the wishes of his precinct.

    The well-funded people who oppose the caucus system want to by-pass the will of the people. They want to select candidates who will appear on the ballot. They want their ideas to be represented by wealthy incumbents. Those well-funded people want to be able to "yank" their candidate's "chain" whenever they think that he is stepping out of line. They want to be the elite who "run" things from behind the scenes.

    We are a Democratic Republic. There is no place in our system for people who would subvert the right of the people to elect delegates to represent them at the nominating convention.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    Under the caucus system, if I want I can mount a decent campaign for around 10-20K. Then I would, of course, need to contact all the delegates I could to make my views known.

    The establishment doesn't much like that idea. THEY have 500k-2million or so from their BFF's (read lobbyists). They would prefer to buy TV and radio ads and stick a sign on everything that doesn't move (and some things that do). THAT is their idea of "campaigning". Of course they also receive many endorsements from the same politicians who have been around for years and refuse to retire.

    The best way by far to take politics away from politicians and return it to grassroots activism is via the caucus system.

    The "Buy my Vote" movement is simply a way for the old guard politicians to stay in charge. Even after they leave office!

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 10:03 a.m.

    Not one person is prevented from going to their caucuses. In theory we should have no different turnout to caucuses than we would a primary.

    The only reason we would have less turnout to a caucus would be... that people don't care enough to spend more than 60 seconds learning about the issues, the candidates, and voting (combined).

    They don't want to have to think about it. They don't want to hear what others have to say. They don't want to be inconvenienced to have to sit for awhile.

    That's sad.

    We had less than 6% turnout for the recent Municipal Primary Election. But you want this 6% (many who don't even know who they voted for... just voted randomly, or based on the sign in somebody's yard, or the name think they've heard before)... That's what you want?

    This campaign is a campaign to let advertisers and campaign managers win the election by influencing people who have no intention of getting educated on the issues and are only interested in voting based on the sign they saw, or the name they recognize, or the lie filled TV commercial they saw on TV.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 9:55 a.m.

    Our founding fathers were wise. Utah should be wise too.

    The founding fathers wanted small States and even the minority to have a voice in government. That's why every state has 2 representatives in the Senate (so even a small state like Utah has the same voice as a large State like California). Then they allowed for proportional votes in the House (were the number of representatives from each State is based on the population of that State).

    But obviously they didn't want "fly over" States. And Utah should not want "fly over" counties. And the people who say, well that's just too bad... if they wanted a vote they should move to a big city or something". It shows they care NOTHING about the people... only about the politics and winning.

    It's not just about your party winning, or your candidate winning, or your community having more say than another community. Turning your back on districts that are small in population and saying "who cares"... is abhorrent and totally against our founding principles.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 9:10 a.m.

    I remember attending a Republican caucus meeting at a rundown apartment complex in South Salt Lake a number of years ago. When the group of three or four in attendance was about to choose me as a delegate, the slumlord who was running the meeting called a timeout. After a short wait, several young guys who looked about half-stoned came down the stairs and gave the slumlord enough votes to become delegate, then they returned to their rooms. (They may have received reduced rent the next month.) Anyway, I find the experience amusing now, especially since I am no longer a Republican. But it's exactly the kind of thing Spencer is talking about in his excellent letter. Get rid of the caucus system.

  • dave Park City, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 8:49 a.m.

    Great commentary Spencer. The caucus system is a classic case of the tail wagging the dog.

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    You do know, that I've never been turned away from a caucus meeting? That if I want to, I can attend both democratic and republican caucus meetings? the only thing they require is that I live in the precint. that would make it hard to bring people from outside the precint to bias the vote, especially if all of my neighbors were equally interested in the issues. it seems that the people who are complaining the most are the ones least interested in spending the time to influence their close neighbors to show up to the caucus meetings. My own son told me that he thought it was a waste of time, and I told him then if the results weren't what he wanted after refusing to take part, then he had better shut up, because he did nothing to try to change it.