@On the other hand, I couldn't agree more! I think many of those at the
caucuses would argue that they don't really care if it isn't
representative. Because they happened to choose to be involved in the caucus,
their representation is all that should count. If you want to be represented,
then come to the caucus, is what they would say. This attitude of isolation and
exclusion of opinions and views is damaging. I don't this level of
representative voting is a good system. I think the compromise made by the
legislature and CMV is a good one.
@Living Above the Lighthouse, @Shane333, let's distinguish between
representative government and representative voting.In
representative government, the people choose who represents them but not
necessarily how they are represented. The idea here is that sovereignty rests
with the people, but it would be cumbersome and impractical to have a system
where the people directly vote on every legislative matter that might arise.In representative voting, that is, the caucus system, representatives
are chosen to determine which candidates will represent a party. There's no
way a delegate can represent the collective will of all the people who elected
him. This means that in representative voting, the candidates that are chosen
are actually less representative of the will of the electorate, which in turn
leads to representative government where the people are actually less well
represented than if they were directly involved at every stage in the voting
process.The fact that we have a representative system of government
is precisely the reason why voters should have a direct say in the nominating
@Mike Richards -- Speaking of GOP party platform :Ethics?You supported ethics violator John Swallow to the bitter partisan
end.Immigration?The GOP seeks to trample the 14th Amendment to
the Constitution.Right to Life?Not when it comes to the
"Health" of the woman or viability of the fetus.Some of us
"Republicans" do not cow-tow the extreme ends of the Party Line.
I went to my caucus meeting and while I appreciate the value of a community
meeting together to discuss important political topics, I don’t understand
why I need someone to represent me to decide who I can vote for. I absolutely
understand why I need a Representative to vote on bills and to draft
legislation, but I don't know why I need a representative to tell me who I
can choose to represent me. I really like the people in my precinct but I
don't necessarily want them to represent me in this way. The compromise
reached by CMV was a reasonable one but it will likely reduce the power of a
small and vocal slice of the party and they don't like that. If a
candidate can demonstrate he has enough popular support to run for an office,
then I see no reason why I shouldn't have the choice to vote for him/her.
I believe in representative government, I just don't feel I need a
representative to tell me who I can choose to represent me.
Apparently several of the commentators here missed the changes to the caucus
procedures to allow for "absentee" voting. I would recommend a search
with "Utah gop caucus same day voting" or "same day ballots" to
see the changes that you missed.
One poster complained about an "LDS prayer" at the start of his caucus
meeting. I've been a member of that church since I was eight, but I
don't have a copy of a "LDS Prayer Book". Does an LDS prayer
differ from prayers offered by other Christians? Hopefully, he listened to the
Republican Platform: "We, the Republican Party of the Great State of Utah,
affirm our belief in God and declare our support for government based upon a
moral and spiritual foundation." If he missed the reading of the platform,
maybe he should open his wallet and look at the phrase on his money, "In God
We Trust". If that's not enough for him, maybe he's not familiar
with the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be
self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their
Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and
the pursuit of Happiness." If all else fails, perhaps he should read George
Washington's Prayer for America: "Almighty GOD; we make our earnest
prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection . . ."
It would be interesting to know how many of the people who signed the CMV
petition have ever attended a caucus meeting.
airnaut - You have strikingly similar response to Open Minded Mormon(also from
Everett, 00)------------I guess you two think
alike. ------Its true the GOP is in trouble. With a
population already being encouraged to blame the rich for their problems instead
of taking responsibility - it just perpetuates the problem. The cycle repeats
and compounds of more people blaming the rich instead of going out and getting a
@Schnee--Seriously? "Hard working Utahns?" I think most of
us are hard-working Utahns, and I don't believe I'm the only one who
had to make work arrangements in order to be at the caucus meeting. We know well
in advance when the caucus meetings are. If someone wants to attend they can
trade shifts or get it off.So enough already with the "I had to
work so I couldn't attend" schtick. It's once every two years, not
every week, and it's the best opportunity we have to get involved in
government at the grass roots level. If you don't want to attend, just say
so, but don't make lame excuses.
Conservatives will not be happy in their Utopian quest until America becomes the
Western Hemisphere's Somalia.No Government, Everyone
carrying guns for self preservation,No evironmental regulations,Tribal wafare vs Neighborhood Gangs, He who has the gold, makes the
rules.Total Anarchy.Dog eat Dog Law of the Jungle, Only
the Strong survive.Lord of the Flies.
My precinct's caucus began with a prayer, LDS-style. I didn't mind
that, but there seemed to be a theme that one needed to believe in God in order
to effectively govern. I was nominated for the position of state delegate, and
in my thirty seconds of allowed speech I made it clear that while I believe in
God, and in fact think it's a good idea to believe in God, still I would
work with people who don't believe in God. I don't think one has to
believe in God in order to be a valid participator in the governing process. I
don't know if it was that issue that did me in, but I was one of the five
candidates that weren't selected. But I got nominated as a county delegate
too, and there were seven of us nominated and only seven positions (the eight
delegate was the precinct vice chair), so the precinct chair who was running
things didn't even call a vote. It'll be interesting to see what the
job of county delegate entails.
I didn't even try and go this year. I went two years ago and couldn't
even get in the room. Plus, even though I am a registered Republican, they
didn't have my name on the list. My daughter who had just turned 18 and
had also registered, was not on the list and was not allowed to vote. For me, the caucus system is all about the radical wings of the party
controlling the agenda, the candidates that are put forth and the party
platform. If things don't change, I will withdraw from the party and find
a group understands how to govern.
@cmsense: The photos tell the story, unintentionally perhaps. If angry,
obdurate, xenophobic people, who think their ultra-conservative and exclusionary
viewpoint is the only legitimate one, continue to run the Republican party, they
will run it into the ground.
There can and SHOULD be legal challenge. When it comes to SB 54, *"This
matter is out of their authority pursuant to the Constitution. SB 54 is a
"compromise" between two sides. But the problem is the side truly at
issue (the political parties) was NOT involved in this compromise. The
compromise is between a group of citizens and some of the leadership in the
legislature. They "compromised" on what process to require of PRIVATE
political parties in selecting who will be endorsed as the party's
candidate for local, state and national offices.*This compromise ignored the
political parties themselves. Parties exist to gather supporters around certain
principles, and to endorse a candidate who supports the party platform. This
process involves their protected exercise of their freedom of expression,
freedom of speech, and freedom of association. These rights are all deeply
protected under the 1st and 14th Amendments. Supreme Court case law tells us
that the State can ONLY interfere in the internal workings of a party if
there's "a compelling state interest," such as a civil rights
issue, *which is not in question in this case. Consequently, this is simply not
the legislature's fight."-Ken Ivory
A picture says a thousand words.And by that front Deseret News
pictre...The GOP caucus was 98% White, Older, and Males.America will be 53% Hispanic in less than 20 years.Good bye,
GOP.btw - R.I.P.
Still though, my biggest problem with the caucus system is that any hard-working
Utahns who have to work when the caucus is meeting are out of luck when it comes
to being able to exercise their right to vote.
Bottom line: we live in a republic, not a democracy. A republic works better
than a democracy because most of us are not able or willing to become thoroughly
educated on the salient issues to the level required to make the best decisions.
A republic works to the extent that we have volunteers willing to research the
issues and educate themselves. It's my job to either ante up and become one
of those people, or to find one of those people whom I trust to represent me.
Even if we all had the time and willingness to meet all the candidates and
interview them personally, it would be a physical impossibility for the
candidates. Just as in a company a small number of people are delegated the
responsibility to interview job candidates, the caucus/delegate/convention
system allows for our delegates to meet each of the candidates personally and
conduct those interviews.It is a layered, but more efficient system
than a democracy. That said, each of our elected officials is accessible to us
once on the job. I've found most (Senator Hatch excluded) are very
I was extremely disappointed that our caucus started 20 minutes late in order to
accommodate anyone who might drift in late. I was also disappointed that time
was used to present a program putting down Count My Vote and promoting the
traditional caucus system while offering no chance for opposing response (and is
anyone else weary of the animated hand making illustrative, say-and-see line
drawings in video presentations?). If Republican insiders are so concerned about
late comers, why are they not concerned about all those who, for perfectly
acceptable reasons, were not able to attend at all? Also, in our precinct
meeting there were reports of several people who could not hang around through
all of the delays--as well as many who had to leave mid-meeting--before casting
their votes and express their views. Is this the latest tactic by the
ultra-conservative Republican establishment to weed out non-traditionalists to
retain control? They still don't seem to get it. Congratulations, however,
to those in the legislature who seem to at least to acknowledge CMV concerns and
search for a balanced solution.
I attended our caucus meeting last night and was again delighted to see so many
people who are interested in how we are governed. Everyone got an opportunity to
volunteer to serve in various positions as well as express how they felt things
were going. This is the one place that a common ordinary citizen has the
opportunity to support people that they feel has their interests at heart.
Changes come from persistent involvement in what we stand for as individuals.
When enough people become involved, changes do happen. We see that happening
all around us. Caucus meetings are certainly one avenue of knowing what is
going on. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate.
@ flashback: You wouldn't vote for anyone who tries to bypass the caucus. .
.even if they were a better candidate who represented your views. That shows how
intelligent some voters are. I try to keep an open mind and look at everyone to
see who represents me the best!
I am a life-long conservative, but I have grown to HATE the Republican caucuses.
Because I don't think we need to privatize all public schools and I think
that compromise is sometimes necessary, I have, at recent caucuses, become the
target of scorn and criticism, and my voice has most definitely not been heard.
I have been shouted down by the ultra-conservative folks who tend to
dominate the whole evening. I am sick of their talk about "principled
leadership," which basically means they are unwilling or mentally unable to
even speak to people with whom they disagree.Give me a voice, MY OWN
REPUBLICAN VOICE, in selecting my elected representatives! Bring back Count My
At our caucus, the Republican Platform was read. I agree with every plank on
that platform. On the other hand, I read the Democrat Platform. How can anyone
believe that the life of an innocent unborn baby could be destroyed because one
person decides that the baby is not wanted? If someone went to court with that
as a defense for destroying a life after birth, he would spend the rest of his
life in prison.At out caucus, we talked with our neighbors whom we
have known for oyears. We've worked with them on various projects. We
know which ones are fair. We know which ones are diligent. We know which ones
walk the walk and don't just talk the talk. We elected two State delegates
and five county delegates. All were honorable men and women with complete
integrity.Those who tell us that we can't vote for a candidate
might ask themselves when the last time was that they voted for a Federal Judge
or a member of the Supreme Court. 100 Senators out of 330,000,000 citizens
makes that choice for us. 4,000 delegates will vett candidates for the
@On the other hand,It appears that you do not understand what
representative government means. The caucus system is absolutely representative
government, in that it elects delegates that represent the majority views of
those who choose to participate in their civic duty. That is no different than
how city, state, or federal representatives are chosen.
I don't understand how the caucus system increases public involvement. It
is just the opposite, just like the BYU and U of U bball post season. One and
done. There is no involvement after the caucus unless you are one of the very
few delegates. A primary election system gives the voter a far
bigger voice and more opportunity for involvement.
@Living Above the Lighthouse"your vote for a candidate for Congress or
the state legislature doesn't necessarily translate into support for the
policies you care about, either."True, but at least there you
only have one layer to go through and can directly vote against them next time
if they fail to adequately satisfy.
@cmsense,It would appear that your views are simply not the
majorities views of those who participate in their civic duties. Thus, if you
were not elected as a delegate, the caucus system worked in representing the
majority. Votes were indeed counted.
I like the comments that all you need to do is show up to the caucus and you
will be heard. We live in a new era where people don't have a normal 9 to 5
job,we don't live in the 1950's anymore. If the party doesn't
adapt it will fail quickly.
Thanks to the passing of SB54, I don’t wonder what the end of our
traditional caucus system will portend for Utah politics. Just read the
Breitbart article entitled: McClintock Race Could Give Democrats New Playbook To
Take Out Conservatives - to see the end results of a COUNT MY VOTE open
primary system. He who has the gold makes the winners! Utah Politics has gone
Big TIME EXPENSIVE! And open to outside control....Or to put it in
another way: Who ever heard of kindergarteners having a say in who was the
Senior Class President? That’s what SB54 has done for Utah!
For those who don't think the caucus system is representative because
"how does your vote translate into support for the candidates you care
about? Unless you got elected as a delegate, there's no guarantee that they
do" - your vote for a candidate for Congress or the state legislature
doesn't necessarily translate into support for the policies you care about,
either. The parallel is there. You just have to vote for the people who you
think will do the job you want - as a caucus delegate or as a candidate. And if
you do not see people you agree with running - run yourself! The worst that can
happen is that you get voted down. I wanted to see a different candidate than
Hatch for the Senate in 2012, and ran to be a delegate - and got voted down, but
at least I tried.
Besides the "People over Fish" Anti-anything Enviromental at our caucus
meeting, I listened as 2 of the nominees went on and on about paying
Taxes and the Evil Government.1 raised 9 children (hasn't paid
taxes in over 25 years due to the $25,000 annual Standard deduction he's
been taking, let alone the rest of us paying for their educations, etc...), The other one complaining about Taxes and Evil Government -- has been
unemployed 4 of the last 6 years -- still has his house, drives a car 15 yeaers
newer and nicer than mine, Big New Flat Screen HDTV, and all new leather
furniture, and his family is very well fed... all coutesty of the very Tax
dollars they were compaling about.I registured as a Rebublican
becasue I wanted to have a voice, and I only mentioned wanting cleaner Air
--- I got shouted down, and by the very people who HATE the
system they have been taking advantage of.I will be renouncing my
GOP membership [again] 1st thing this morning.
The title of this piece is based on the evidence of going to a few caucus sites
and asking the choir if they like singing in the choir- I would expect more from
a paper that says it is for rigor and critical thinking
It just dawned on me. Didn't the Democrats caucus as well? I guess this
paper is only going to promote the Republican Party....
I've been to lots of caucus meetings and I went last night, but I am still
glad that there is an alternative method. The people that were more
conservative were the ones elected to be delegates. I don't feel moderates
have a voice in either party (and I've been to both party's caucuses
because I don't feel I really belong to either party).
We had over 60 people in our caucus last night. Heaven help the Republican that
tries to bypass the caucus. Me and a whole lot of people will not be voting for
them. None of them would vote for a candidate that bypasses the caucus.The Bennett crybabies that support CMV are duly warned.
So the "insiders" like the insider process. Hardly surprising. Just
because people don't take the time to sit through a meeting doesn't
mean they don't have an interest in the outcome. Why do you need a meeting
to choose your leaders?
If you're concerned about your voice being heard, all you have to do is
show up. I really think it should be up to the parties to decide
how they choose their nominees and not up to the legislature to tell them how
they choose them.
I was sad...Why does the GOP just have to be blindly be against anything
the Democrats are for?Clean Air is for ALL of us. The
Delegate in our precinct ran on a personal platform of "I'm
against anything the EPA is for."And won.Sad.
"the traditional caucus system will remain in place."Um, no
it isn't...Creating a means of bypassing a system designed to
not be bypassed destroys any integrity the system could have. But I suppose as
long as a few prominent guys support it we all should?1) Money
shouldn't buy elections2) People should only get one say, not the
ability to influence both their own primary candidates and another
party's.Our democracy has been weakened not only by the federal
government, but what we see happening in our own state. There is nothing
democratic about giving more power to elect and get elected than one should
have. If people can't see the problems with this, then so be it.
The caucus system is fine for determining party policies and programs, and
electing party officials. Candidates for office should be determined, at all
levels of the election process, by the direct vote of the public. Keep the
caucus for the things it properly determines, and let the people vote to decide
who is going to be on the final ballot.
I went to my caucus yesterday as well (my 1st). I spent close to 2 hours there.
My wife had to stay home and watch our 5 kids (her vote was not counted). I
did not know any of the people who volunteered to be delegates before hand.
After hearing them they all sounded the same, all against CMV, all for a no
mercy, send them and their kids who grew up here back immigration policy, all
against common core and the ACA etc. I am for fiscal conservatism (but
don't shut down the government) and socially conservative (but domestic
partnerships are ok with me). I was expecting at least 1 moderate candidate
who I thought would choose a Sen. Bennet over a Mike Lee for example. I could
not support any of the delegates. They were all too far right. I left. My
vote was not counted. Sorry, I don't need a representative to choose my
@Shane333, glad to hear that all votes were counted. Pray tell, how does your
vote translate into support for the candidates you care about? Unless you got
elected as a delegate, there's no guarantee that they do. Therein lies the
fundamental flaw with the caucus system: it's not representative.
After looking at the photos of the gop caucus I wondered if I was looking at
I got back from my precinct caucus meeting about half an hour ago. It was
wonderful. Everyone who bothered to show up was welcomed. All votes were
counted (they've always been counted). People were encouraged to share
their views.The only way a vote wasn't counted was if someone
refused to go and cast it, the same as with primary or general elections.