A Better Way

Apparently, I am officially an Iowan, based on the fact that I used the phrase “needs cleaned” this afternoon with Josh and his friend Collin. As in, “this room needs cleaned before Collin goes home.” Eh, it doesn’t surprise me. I use “fixin’ t’ ”, “y’all” and “soda”, too. (I’m fixin’ t’have a soda, y’all) That was my souvenir from living in Texas.

ANYWAY, Tuesday is (was) Iowa’s Caucus. And it’s a really huge deal because, well, it’s a Caucus, and nobody does those anymore (ok, I stand corrected. About a third of the states do them), and also because it’s the first of anything “primary” in the country. New Hampshire is another big hairy deal because it has official “First in the Nation” status.

For those who don’t know what a Caucus is, or how it works, I’m not going to go into detail. It’s complicated, and I don’t even understand it fully. The Des Moines Register has a decent write up at their site, but I will give you a nutshell. The Republicans are pretty straightforward. Their Caucus is basically a business meeting. If you’re a registered R, you show up at the appointed place and time, and have a business meeting that covers Precinct and/or county business, including hearing from the reps that each candidate sends. Then you fill out a ballot and drop it in a box. The votes are counted, and voila! The Caucus is done. Takes about an hour.

If you’re a Democrat, you’re a nutcase. THEIR Caucus requires you to show up at the appointed time and place, join a group for the guy you support, be counted, go politicking for that guy for a while, be counted, rearrange your allegiance, be counted, politic again, be counted, ad nauseum, until one candidate is declared the winner. It’s crazy and lasts a while.

But that’s not why I’m writing this! I just felt the need to address the caucus system because it’s Iowa, and it’s such a big deal, and nobody seems to really know what it is. And now you still don’t. You’re welcome.

My whole problem with this is the fact that, by the time places like California, South Dakota and Utah have held their primaries, the candidates are pretty well chosen, and these states’ citizens, no matter how “important” they are, are really not heard. Those primaries aren’t held until June!

So, we Caucus on Tuesday, and let’s pretend that Ron Paul wins (he’s the front-runner as I write this). Mitt comes in second, and Newt comes in third. Bachmann and Santorum don’t show very well, and decide to throw in the towel. But only Iowa has voted! And maybe New Hampshire! Screw California, apparently.

I think we should have a full-on single day Primary or Caucus. Each state can hold its own version, that doesn’t have to change. But it should all happen on the same day. And NO results should be reported to the press until the close of the last vote. So if that means that Alaska doesn’t close its polls until 8 PM AK time, then the folks in NY will just have to wait until midnight. Tough tootsies, NY.

But truly, this is the only fair way to do it. Candidates can stay home, they can have their Precinct Captains out there doing the jobs they were recruited for, and it’s like a giant Presidential Election, except nobody is eliminated. They’re simply ranked. The results of the Primary/Caucus Day are reported after all the votes are in and counted, and now we know the rankings of all of the candidates. EVERY candidate is considered by EVERY citizen who casts a vote, and nobody drops out of the race because they didn’t do well somewhere else.

See, I should be in charge. If I ran things, they’d make so much more sense! Y’all.

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10 Responses to A Better Way

  1. Just a Mom says:

    I like your way of running things! If only things could be that simple.

  2. mssc54 says:

    We vote next and I’m going with Rick.

  3. Joy says:

    I’m very confused also how things run and go. Sometimes it seems like things are over before they begin.

    I really wish I LOVED someone. I’m getting so tired of voting so someone doesn’t get in instead of someone I really like and admire. Because the truth is, I’ll vote for anyone but who’s there now. We can’t survive another go around with him.

    I wish there was one candidate with a few bits of each of them rolled into one. I like parts of a few of them but I’m not “in love” with any one in particular. I guess I want Romney. Newt is way too black and white and Ron Paul, nope. I’m not feeling him either. Sometimes he sounds good and other times he sounds like a goof ball. Bachmann will be out and I don’t know enough about Santorum to really want him at this point.

    I’m dying to hear how it went.

  4. Joseph says:

    Makes my head spin thinking about all this. I’m surprised anyone is still involved politically! Sounds like political overkill and cause for political apathy.
    The Conservative Party in Canada already uses a voting method similar to what you suggest. The party uses a ‘weighted’ OMOV (One Member – One Vote) System, where all members vote on one single day (some instances advanced polling is available, but kept secret) nation wide.

    • Jim says:

      Joseph,

      I really think that is what the politicians want, the U.S. citizens totally apathetic to the political process. That way they (the political elites) can run all of our lives. They keep passing laws increasing their power and decreasing ours. It seems to me that when I started learning about the Constitution, in grade school, there was a way that an individual could get a law passed by: writing the law; getting enough signatures on a pettition; and then getting enough votes on an election day. As far as I know, that is no longer possible, only the politicians can now write and pass laws.

  5. Laura says:

    I would love it if it were up to US to choose the ticket. I hate that the candidate chooses his own running mate. If it were up to us, I’d probably ask for a Romney/Paul ticket. Honestly. Romney is so good, business-wise, and I’m sure he’d do well with foreign policy. But Paul seems to be a stickler for Constitutional issues, and he’s a total hawk when it comes to financial things. I’d also like to see him turned loose on The Fed.

    I might like other combinations, too. Put Paul in as Sec’y of the Treasury, and have a Bachmann/Romney ticket or something. I just hate that they pick their own running mates, and leave all the other candidates completely out of it. They all have decent things to offer, and combined, I think many would be a force to be reckoned with. (especially if we put some teeth into the office of VP, instead of just footing the bill for his vacations)

    • Jim says:

      How about this…

      Go back to how it was in the “olden” days. Whoever got the most votes for President was President, whoever got the second highest number of votes became Vice President.

      I personally think that it would make things more interesting…just think…Republican President, Indepenedent Vice President.

  6. Jim says:

    I must agree with Laura on this whole topic. Last Presidential election, the Republican nominee had been chosen before primary day here in Illinois.

  7. avomnia says:

    For the first few presidencies the VP was not “chosen”, per se—he was simply the guy who came in second. The results were not always smooth.

    As for Laura’s process proposal, I’m firmly on board. And Jim’s point is spot on—politicians practically pray for voter apathy.

    The American experiment is doomed within the next century if we continue our current trajectory. A peaceful revolution would do wonders for us.

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