Posts Tagged ‘primary’

By R.C. Seely

Recently there has been a legislative push in the “Beehive State” (Utah) to abandon the current elective system of the caucus and reinstitute the more common questionable-on-it’s-efficiency system of the primary. As you’ve probably gathered, I’m extremely biased against the primary system and the initiative to bring it back – but not without due evidence to support my contempt of the despicable ploy.
First off, the reason for the change to the caucus system was to encourage voter participation and it worked exceptionally well. The results have been similar in the other states utilizing the caucus; Iowa, Nevada, Maine, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Washington, New Hampshire, Wyoming and Michigan; Texas and Arizona, have hybrid versions of it as well.
So, why should the state switch back to a flawed system? Who benefits from it? Well, as is the case with most bad laws: the special interests, the lobbyists, and in turn the politicians.
Another point of consideration, is the misleading moniker – “Count my Vote” – it might initially sound like a beneficial policy targeted at helping “the people.” This is far from the case, but that’s the emotional response it’s creators wanted to elicit – pick an unassuming title to sell it to an unsuspecting public. It’s like the Media Shield Law – which was sold on the idea that it protects reporters and bloggers, the “Count my Vote” initiative doesn’t help those it’s supposed to protect – it in fact disables and punishes them. Both laws work the same way too, they silence the little guy, who doesn’t have the huge financial backing – but an independent opinion – and puts them into submission.
Here’s how: With the caucus system, the candidate without the large capital of special interests can compete head to head with the big boys, because it costs a lot less to put on the – town hall style – caucus system, than it is to put on the formal primary. But the way in which this hurts “the people” is that in a primary, your concerns are usually ignored. In a caucus the people there at the caucus get there questioned answered – the ones who care enough to be physically present – get to have their concerns addressed. To some this may sound unfair, but if you don’t care enough to educate yourself about the candidates and the issues – don’t vote! Why should those who are diligent enough to do their homework, be penalized by the uninformed?
The worst tenet of “Count my Vote” is a major change to affect candidate qualifying – going from a signed petition based on the numbers of the populace, to instead having it based on a basis 2% of the party needed. In a state that’s mostly Republican, that means that more registered Republicans would have to sign up than Democrats to qualify. Let’s say the number of registered Republicans in an area is 20,000 under the change, the candidate would need 400 signatures to qualify; in the same area, there is 1,000 registered Democrats and they only need 20 signatures to qualify. That means the majority of that area are not honestly represented! That should have everyone concerned – no matter what your political affiliation, as a citizen of the country, this should be alarming – because by eliminating the caucus and replacing it with this mess it is not voting your vote – it’s discarding it.
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