Republic or Democracy? The Caucus System Knows

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The Deseret News published an editorial in favor of getting rid of Utah’s caucus system.  This paper is owned by a Church that, in its Sunday School Manual, defines our form of government as a Constitutional representative republic, not a democracy.  It appears there’s a difference of opinion between its ownership and its editorial board.

But it highlights a serious misunderstanding.  Utah’s caucus system is the last remaining vestige of a constitutional representative election system that other states at one time had.  It is the MOST inclusive and the closest to the people.  It is a grassroots system that gives neighbors the opportunity to meet directly with the candidates and to make more informed decisions together.  It IS the inclusive system.  Anyone who desires can participate.

Those leading the campaign to eliminate the caucus are DC lobbyists, media moguls (including the Deseret News) who will make millions off the media sound bites, and the moneyed-elitists in Utah who favor electing their moneyed cronies.

These elitists are promoting the systems that California, Connecticut and Colorado use.  The irony is that, when I’ve explained our system to the Republican leaders in California and Connecticut, they have told me how damaging their own systems have been to the Republican Party platform and its candidates in those states.

Here’s the irony:  While the Utah elite lobbyists and media want only rich and famous candidates to run and win and want to be California, Connecticut and Colorado … California, Connecticut and Colorado want to be Utah!  Go figure.

As for voter turn out, many factors weigh in, including cultural – we have big families and big commitment to church responsibilities in Utah.  Also, who’s on the ticket?  Is it Mitt Romney? A lot of statewide races such as Governor and Senate?  Utah had an all-time high caucus attendance and voter turn out in 2012 for that reason.

Let’s get one thing straight:  The caucus system itself has little to do with voter turn out.   In fact, by percentage, a caucus system gets up to 50% turnout at convention in an off year!  Much better than a municipal election that gets single digits.

But the elitists that try to control the Party are at it again.  If the Republican State Central Committee doesn’t act soon and get enough support from its true grassroots members that support the caucus, the next caucus night will be on March 20, 2014, allowing delegates and candidates only 4 weeks and 2 days to become acquainted.  I’ve been a candidate on a statewide and a congressional level.  In 201 candidates had 6 weeks and 5 days.

In 2012, the delegates had only 5 weeks, 2 days to meet the candidates.  Ask any delegate and they will tell you it was a nightmare.  Unless of course their only concern was to re-elect one candidate, and for that, a delegate ought to be recalled.  It was virtually impossible to meet all the delegates on a personal level – or at any productive level, especially when 29 other candidates were vying for their time.  Factored into that equation is that the Party can’t get the corrected delegate list to the candidates in less than two weeks from the caucus night.  Do the math.

Additionally, the 2014 convention is set to be on Easter weekend!

Why is this happening?  In part because the Obama Administration has mandated a deadline on the states to get the absentee ballots for the military in sooner.  That sets the calendar for how many weeks before those deadlines we must have a convention, and then the caucus date falls from there.

Many who support the caucus system with its current threshold that sends candidates to primaries about 50% of the time are opposed to both the March 20th caucus date and the Easter weekend convention date.  We consider it to be either a shrewd backdoor strategy to mock and destroy the virtue of the caucus system or an ignorant plan with little thought to the consequences.  The elitists in the GOP are not ignorant.  At the last State Central Committee meeting I opposed the caucus date saying, “If we want a plan to destroy the caucus, this is it.”

If you want to influence what’s happening around you in your neighborhood, your town and your city and county, as well as your state and nation, all you need to do is show up at a neighborhood caucus, discuss these issues with your neighbors, and get involved.  To keep a representative republic, eternal vigilance is required.  To fall into democracy – a government that demands equality of outcomes/results that the founders despised, requires little work and effort.

Which will it be?  That’s what this caucus vs. open primary debate is all about.

Here are some additional articles, if you desire to understand this discussion on a deeper level.