Quiet moments can be thoughtful times to contemplate. I love Utah’s caucus system and as Winnie the Pooh might say, I have been “puzzling and puzzling” over solutions. Like Winnie the Pooh I don’t claim to be a great attorney or knowledgeable scholar, but sometimes when you love something and know the value of it, you feel protective of it. You get easily defensive of it when it is criticized, so I ask my fellow Republicans to step back, sit in a quiet place and consider my proposal. This is a very simple solution to a complex problem, although it will put many of you out of your comfort zones I hope you all realize I propose this with the sincerest of intentions:
I propose that IF the Republican Party of Utah REALLY wants every Republican’s vote to count, we should make these changes to our Caucus & Convention system:
- Each precinct in the State of Utah would have their own website designed by a State Party Committee. Candidates for office could self nominate, upload their pictures, a video, endorsements, their bios, and a statement about themselves. It would also provided contact and location information for caucus times, locations, host names and methods to affiliate.
- Prior to caucus meetings those who would like to attend but may have conflicts, would be allowed to print off an absentee ballot generated from the precinct website and turn it into the caucus host any time before the meeting adjourns.
- Candidates for offices would not be required to be present to run. (With the ability to post ahead of time, their willingness to serve and their point of view, anyone who wishes to run for any office can make their case and be seriously considered in their absence.)
- Results would be announced at the close of caucus elections
- That the threshold to avoid a Primary Election be raised to 70% of the delegate vote at the State Nominating Convention. (This will allow for the consideration of a greater number of candidates. A Primary Election makes our candidates better and more seasoned before a General Election. If we have a candidate that is so oooba-remarkable that we all love them dearly we can support them enough to bypass a Primary Election.)
Summation: This proposal will allow people who have valid reasons for being unable to participate on caucus nights to be fully vested and considered in the caucus system. This sends a clear message that the Utah GOP is committed to making sure that rural counties are represented in the caucus system and that the UTGOP doors are open to all willing to enter. Representative government is what we believe in – “A democracy withing a republic, a sovereign nation of many sovereign states, a perfect union, one and inseparable…”
Losing the right of citizens to elect people that represent their local issues and neighborhood views will be the outcome if we continue to say we welcome all voices, but don’t make accommodations for them to be heard. This is my good faith effort.