Let's face it; your vote will not get counted, if you don't vote -
whether at the polls or at the caucus. Ah, yes, the caucus : that is where you
are going to meet someone you should actually know - your neighbor. You can vote
for your neighbor to represent you, or could get them to vote for you. This is
where representative democracy is up close and personal. Not the bumper stickers
and flyers and spot ads variety. Keep the caucus. Be really involved.
#1 - USA is a Republic, not a democracy. (See Founding Documents)#2
- We have representative form of government at all levels, starting with party
caucus on through local, state and federal party-specific vetted candidates
being voted into office by their respective districts. (See Utah/Federal
Election Laws)#3 - Most elections in the USA are partisan with
candidates chosen starting at the grassroots level in neighborhood party caucus
on through their respective party conventions. (You must be a member of a party
to vote in this candidate selection process - Attend opposing party caucus
– it’s very enlightening to see other half in action.)#4
- The caucus system is local grassroots voting for a representative (delegate)
just as a Congressional Delegation is representative at the federal level of the
voters in their individual districts. (Attend your local caucus and see how
your vote really counts) #5 - Count My Vote (Count My Vote Less) =
is not grassroots politics. CVM it is the big money interests of the few using
the power of media to influence the many through sound-bite politics. (See what
happens to grassroots involvement in the candidate selection process in states
like Illinois who use direct primary elections.)
2 bits, I voted for Sean Reyes for Attorney General in the convention, and
again in the Primary election. I was a cop and never in my years as a police
officer did I miss a Mass Meeting/Party Caucus. So that arguement is flawed
from Lost in DC. The only time since 1976 I've missed a Caucus was when I
was in Texas on my mission.If people don't want to go to the
caucus then that is just too bad for them. It is they that miss out. They are
the same people who don't vote. I have no sympathy for them.The Count My Vote initiative is nothing more than revenge over what happened
to their poster boy Bob Bennett.
I still can not understand why letting people vote for their elected officials
is wrong. The caucus system isn't allowing the will of the majority of
people. It is allowing people like Mike Lee to get in and win just because he
has an R next to his name. Even his party isn't happy with him. Bob
Bennett was a moderate who time and time again has had the majority of the
publics votes. Somehow that system was hijacked. The caucus candidates
didn't represent the true Utah voter. Mike Richards can say all he wants
but the voters didn't get the chance to allow their individual votes to
count. The caucus system is way overdue to be scrapped.
A minor clarification: “Count My Vote's five major flaws” is a
great title, but is not what I suggested when I wrote this piece. Instead this
title was chosen by the editors. I don’t claim that all five points are
directly linked to CMV. But CMV is leading the pack in its efforts to
undermine the caucus/convention process. If they get their way, Utah will be
worse off, and each voter will have less of a voice. The caucus/convention
system works just fine, and we should keep it.
The current caucus system promotes government of the few, by the few, and for
the few. It results in the election of candidates outside the
mainstream. How else to explain the ouster of a trusted conservative like Bob
Bennett? Utah is the only state in the union where an incumbent senator who has
done nothing wrong could be removed from office without a vote of the people.Of course the minority of far right-wing folks don't want the
people to vote on candidates in primaries. That would lessen their ability to
put into office candidates who share their views, whether or not those views are
majority views. They will make whatever arguments they can to try to hold onto
a system that allows them to keep the power in the hands of the minority. Our representative democracy does not require such a system and is not
well served by it. Let the people decide who should represent
them--one person, one vote.
@mike richards. The pray big wigs would not select who runs. Why should I vote
for someone to vet a candidate for me? The voters can decide who they like in
the primary and then in the general election.I think most caucus
supporters fear they will no longer get to be the puppet master. They fear
candidates who are moderate and independent thinkers.
Why elect Representatives or Senators when so many citizens think that they have
been empowered to vote directly instead of being part of a Democratic Republic?
It takes a lot of arrogance for someone to think that he is so special that the
rules of a Democratic Republic are too "lame" for him, to think that the
nominating process should be eliminated, to think that party "big wigs"
should select candidates for him, to think that he and all other citizens have
the time, the skill, and the opportunity to "vet" each of the
candidates.No wonder politics are such a mess. With people like
that, we can clearly see why the people in office were elected. Those with a
big enough budget to gain name recognition bought their way into office because
all of the puffed up voters who demand a change never took the time to vote, or
if they did vote, they didn't take the time to "vet" the
The caucus format needs to go. I as a voter can decide who I want to vote for in
the primary among the candidates running. I do not need to vote for some
neighbor who will "vet" the candidates, I can do that in the primary.What about the elite only running? Well most of the legislators we have
now are part of the elite or married to someone who is. Any one could still win
in an open primary.As far as candidates listening to us. Do
legislators listen to us now? How many citizens want the prison to be moved?
It's not a majority. How many people want cleaner air? Do our legislators
do anything about it? Not really. What about education? The list can on and
on.Finally, in an open primary candidates wouldn't be terrified
of Gayle Ruzicka.
For what it's worth, I was chosen as a county and state delegate at the
most recent caucuses, and at the conventions I voted for the candidates and
issues exactly according to my preferences. If I had known that 95 percent of
the party members in my area had wanted me to vote differently on a particular
candidate or issue, I would have ignored them. That's how most delegates
operate. Caucuses represent the preferences of the few who attend them.
You lost me at "grass roots."Hard to ascribe any rational or
logical thought to an argument that repeatedly claims that a system where voters
choose someone to choose someone that those original voters can then vote for is
a more "grass roots" system then allowing each voter to choose for
themselves. Nor do I see the logic in letting someone other than
myself vet the candidates. There's little difficulty in the digital age in
finding out what candidates are saying on the issues. And what they say "on
the record" for a mass audience carries more of an opportunity for
accountability than what someone may say in a F2F with a single delegate. As far as eliminating the opportunity for lesser known candidates. I
submit that any candidate with a truly original thought or idea would quickly
differentiate themselves and gain name recognition over the large pack of
candidates tripping over themselves to parrot what they believe to be the
learnings from the latest opinion, not voting, polls.
When a person votes in an election, no matter how many people he represents, he
will vote according to his own conscience. And the people he represents have no
control over his conscience or the things that might effect his conscience.Bribes? Just about everything that a person sees, hears and experiences
influences a person's psyche. In the case of food at a convention booth, a
tasty donut would have about the same effect as a dollar bill. And you
don't have to buy their vote, you just have to have them listen to your
The problem of poor government is the result of electing the wrong people to
government. In this world the most important thing is money. And
the way to obtain money is to control other people. Government is the only
legitimate way to control people, so the object of people who would control
other people want to be the government. Which probably includes just about
everybody.We only allow people who have lots of money to be elected
to be the government. So we have government by a very small segment of the
population instead of the majority of people of a more democratic republic.
If we would have better representation in our government we need to
eliminate money from the activity of choosing and electing candidates. One of the ways to do that would be to eliminate the political campaign
and make it a crime to have business motives in government.
Lost in DC,Your statement: "Candidates for wider elections,[sic]
US house, senate, governor, etc., are all pretty well known, having made a name
for themselves within the party." explains a lot.The purpose for
a caucus is to give the UNKNOWN candidate equal opportunity to be on the ballot.
Contrary to what some believe, we don't have royalty who tell us which
candidates THEY want on the ballot. We, the people, decide. We elect a neighbor
whose responsibility it is to get past the party royalty, to get past the glib
statements of the incumbents, to get past the advertising dollars of those
outside the State who want to select candidates for us. The delegate has the
important responsibility to talk to each candidate running for office; to ask
each candidate those questions that the people in his precinct wanted asked; to
separate the wheat from the chaff. With 6% of the populace showing
up at the primaries, just how informed do you think many of them are,
particularly when you hear them ask, as they enter the polling place, "Tell
me again who is running"?
Mr. Richards,why do you discount the ability of individuals to vet
candidates, especially for local elections where the candidates are more likely
to be their neighbors? Candidates for wider eletions, US house, senate,
governor, etc., are all pretty well known, having made a name for themselves
within the party. Needing someone else to do something for you, ie, vett a
candidate, is very much a liberal principal, not one I thought a conservative
such as yourself would gravitate towards. opposition to CMV is
nothing but an attempt by insiders to keep a strangle-hold onto power.
Badger, I hate to break it to you, but all the things you cite as dangers are
alive and very well in the current caucus system.
With Count My Vote, who decides which candidates will be on the ballot? Hint:
It's not the citizens of Utah. With Count My Vote, how many
run-off elections will be held until one and only one candidate has the majority
of votes from the Republican Party? Hint: None.With Count My Vote,
who will vet the candidates? Who will compare their promises to what
they've done in office, if they're an incumbent? Who will ask the
citizens whom they want as a candidate? Hint: No one. The "good old
boy" party elite will decide who is "Republican enough" to be on the
ballot and who will be most likely to take their marching orders from the party
elite, instead of representing the people or the State.Count My Vote
is nothing more than a power grab by the "good old boys" who think that
they have the right to run "politics" in Utah. The best thing that the
Deseret News can do is to interview each of those "good old boys" who
will be selecting candidates, and then tell us why the "good old boys"
have the right to think for us.
How well did the caucus system do for vetting our former Attorney General?
@StriderUnless you live in a congressional district where the boundaries
were intentionally drawn to marginalize your vote. I live in the Second
District, where it was convienently drawn to include west Salt Lake, West
Valley, South Davis(not weird yet) oh, and entire western half of the state.
Because it makes sense for West Valley and SLC to have the same rep as St George
and Kane County. Or because they want to neutralize the liberal vote.
For those who think you can buy the election with a continental breakfast to get
people to come hear what you have to say (and that constitutes a
"bribe")...1. My business does it all the time at
conventions (provide some food or something at your booth to get people to come
hear your shpeal). That's not a "bribe".2. How would
you buy the election (in a caucus system)?You would need people
there to bribe every person at a caucus meeting (to insure your delegates get
elected). There are thousands of caucus meetings, you would need people with
money at each one. Impossible.You would need people with money at
the convention going around bribing people. And no.. a breakfast is not enough
to get most people to vote for someone they are against.In a primary
system... all you need is $$$ to buy a good advertizing campaign on TV and
radio.Which one is easier to buy with $$$???
In an open primary, how do decent people of humble means get their names on the
ballot and out to the public?To sum this up, caucuses allow the
people to choose the candidates. Open primary would mean the party
elites would choose which candidates they use party money to put on the
ballot.Or Big money from any source (a rich person, a
big corporation,) would choose the candidates.I think the people
should get to choose their candidates. The real way to make your vote count is
have caucuses and go to them.
In my not so humble opinion, we seem to forget that a party primary is for the
party to select their candidate. If you are not a member of a political party,
join one, form one - take your pick or wait until the general election to
vote.Members of political parties usually donate money to their
party, hang signs on their lawns, go door to door asking for donations for the
party and distribute political flyers at election times.If you are
not a member of a party, I strongly feel you have no business in the selection
process of a party's candidate. In the general election you can vote for
or against the candidate - that's when non-members of parties can and
should vote.If all the "concerned citizens" who are so upset
at the current state of affairs in the Utah GOP would affiliate and participate
in the Democratic caucuses and primary system, run and support a candidate or
two, support him or her in the primary and general elections, you would be in
the majority and have had your say. The key here is participate and
support, not sit home watching reality TV and griping.
I have no problem doing away with the convention system if it weren't for
two things:1. If the argument were based on reality (instead of some
conspiracy theory that all the delegates are dishonest and only vote based on
their bribes).2. If more people who complaint that their individual
vote doesn't count... actually showed up at party primaries they already
have AND VOTE. In 2013 we had 6% turnout. If you really want your
vote counted... show up and vote at the primary election you ALREADY HAVE!When we start getting decent turnout at party primaries... THEN it would
make sense to turn it over to a pure popularity contest (based on what the
majority saw on TV, or who their favorite news person supports, or who someone
at church supports). At least it would show people are serious enough to
actually show up and VOTE in their party primary (both parties).===If you're a CMV protester, ask yourself honestly... who
did I vote for in my party primary in 2013? If you can answer that... please
post it. I'd LOVE to see if ANYONE here actually voted.
I personally don't think the most important thing is getting the one right
person from your neighborhood as delegate. There are several dozen people in
your neighborhood who could represent you plenty well, and in the end... ANY
honest person is good enough (IMO).And picking delegates
shouldn't be based only on how they would vote on ONE candidate, out of the
hundreds of issues they will be vetting at convention.I think
it's good that we get together and talk first (because I learn something).
But in the end... it doesn't matter who gets to be the delegate. They
could put all the names in a bowl and draw names... and the result at convention
be approximately the same. Bennett would not have won.===People forget, but Bennett was unpopular in Utah at the time (ALL incumbents
were unpopular at the time). Many Utahns wanted to get rid of the politicians
who went along with Bush and voted for TARP and raised our debt so much during
the Bush era. Bushies were unpopular. Especially Bushies who act like
Democrats (on skyrocketing government spending).That was
Bennett's problem. Not some delegate conspiracy.
Flaw 1 – vet candidates.A candidate cannot put together a
cogent webpage with a section for questions? They cannot post answers to FAQs?
straw argumentFlaws 2 – candidates can snooker those who
don’t get elected delegates. Thanks for your confidence in those who
attend caucusesbright newcomer with a limited budget is on a more
equal footing. So when they get to the general election and have a limited
budget, they are a viable candidate? That is the epitome of arrogance to say
just because they have (R) behind their name they will get elected even with no
budget.Incumbent has no incentive to be accountable to his
constituents? Really?? your flaw(s) 2 are invalid.Flaw
3 – alternative options to get on the primary ballot.What’s
wrong with more options on the primary ballot? another invalid flawFlaw 4 – some are urging the GOP to open their primary to
non-republicans. This is not part of CMV. Another invalid argumentFlaw 5 – convenience is bad. You have no problem excluding
police and firefighters, healthcare workers, and people who travel for their
jobs? You only want the unemployed and idle?
Instead of voting for someone I hope represents me when they're in office,
I'm supposed to vote for someone I hope represents me by voting for someone
I hope represents me when they're in office? That's a good system?