There is a small movement in the Republican Party to essentially do away with the current caucus system. The issue is going to be debated on December 16, 2011.
I favor keeping the delegate nominating system for the following reasons.
• My contact with delegates have found them prepared, engaged, intelligent and in tune with the issues affecting the majority of our citizens.
• I am an outsider not a career politician. I believe that hard work in meeting with, conversing with and hearing all opinions of delegates has been extremely valuable.
• I believe that all voices of our community are the treasures of and connection to freedom. All citizens, rich or poor, mighty or weak should have access to the marketplace of ideas.
• Frequent contact with grass root delegates should be the goal of all candidates in an election cycle.
• Grassroot caucuses are the foundation and mimic the republic form of government implemented by our inspired founding fathers.
• In Utah, this system has been serving us well since 1896 including those incumbents who got where they are through the same vetting process.
• Grassroots caucuses are no respecter of persons who are willing to work hard, and don’t have major funding or political donors. As such, the influence of big money does not affect the candidate selection process like a primary does.
• Can the caucus system improve? Absolutely. The problem is not the caucus system, it is low constituent participation. I agree with State Republic Chairman Thomas Wright who said, “Lets spend ... time and energy educating people ... and encouraging them to participate.”
• To those who tout low participation as a reason for scrubbing the current caucus system, they need to explain how an average of 15 percent participation by eligible voters in Utah’s primary elections is any different.
• The caucus system is where current incumbents first began. If they choose to avoid engagement in the marketplace of ideas, then they lose contact with the people. They should not be given a free pass to participate in primary elections.
• Is there any wonder why 43 States who have abandon the caucus system have seated a congress with the lowest approval rating in United States history? The only difference I see is that a primary election favors incumbents, well-financed candidates and a nation that is not going in a direction that is favored by a majority of the electorate.