<== Site of the Week for 2014-01-08 ==>
Count My Vote
Count My Vote seeks to replace the Utah Caucus/Convention system with a direct primary system.
The caucus/convention system is used by the political parties to select candidates for the general election. It is a pre-election to determine who gets on the later ballots.
With the caucus system, people in the various voting districts attend a caucus meeting. In the caucuses, people vote for candidates and select people to attend the convention. The elected representatives go the party convention where they attend various meetings, cast their votes as instructed and opportunities for direct conversations with the candidates. If you really want to attend a convention, there is a pretty good chance of getting selected to go to the convention.
Being an independent, I've never been to a convention. I don't think it would be ethical for me to attend a convention when I don't like either party. Through the years, I have attended caucuses for both major parties and third parties.
Quite often there are people (political activists) who've met with candidates before the caucuses. The activists try to sway votes and get elected to the convention.
Advocates of this structure say that it allows well organized candidates with small budgets to get on the ballot and get elected.
Critics of the system dislike that a caucus system weighs the parties to political activist groups. Some people are really upset that Tea Party candidates got on the ballot in the last two election cycles. Of course, activist groups are also very good at manipulating primaries.
Notably, Mike Lee was able to displace Senator Bill Bennett who was the favorite among the established political class.
I like the fact that the caucus system lets people meet each other and talk about issues before voting. The caucuses themselves are often hectic and lend themselves to manipulation. The caucus system weighs things toward people who actively want to be involved in their party. This means that people that people who don't want to get all that involved have a diminished vote.
It will be interesting to see how this vote pans through.
Co-Chair Norma Matheson encourages Utahns to sign the petition to give all Utah voters a voice. from Count My Vote on Vimeo.