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Author Topic: Political Primaries  (Read 4415 times)
JOEBIALEK
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« on: March 29, 2004, 07:00:53 pm »
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A political primary is a preliminary election in which the registered voters of a political party nominate candidates for office.  The key word here is preliminary.  The current system allows small states such as Iowa and New Hampshire {assisted by the media} to award front-runner status to the victorious candidate.  From there the candidates travel a path determined by which states wants to "leap frog" the other by moving up their primary dates.  Candidates are whisked across the country without any real ability to distinguish regional issues from national issues.  Consequently, party platforms are determined by a make-it-up-as-you-go approach.  If the primary process were organized on a regional basis, candidates would be able to study the regional issues, campaign to confirm those issues and then receive votes based on the solutions they propose.  A regional approach would also prevent a premature selection of a front runner because success in one region certainly would not guarantee success in the next region.  This would also further validate the process because each state would still have a say all the way down to the end.  Finally, the number of delegates awarded in each state should be determined by the percentage of votes won by each candidate.  
 
Accordingly, the political primaries should occur between January and June of each presidential election year.  Each of the six regions would be assigned a particular month.  A lottery held in June of the previous year would determine which month each region holds its primaries.  An example illustrates the format:
 
January
Middle West (9):
Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin
 
February
Southern (Cool:
Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi,  Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
 
March
Atlantic (Cool:
Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina,
 
April
New England (Cool:
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont,
 
May
Northwestern (9):
Alaska, Idaho, Kansas,  Montana,  North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, Wyoming
 
June
Southwestern (9):
Arizona, California, Colorado,  Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah
 
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Fmr. Gov. NickG
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2004, 09:43:38 pm »
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I agree this year's primary process was highly unsatifying, but under your system, what is to stop the second through sixth regions from just blindly following the lead of the first, similar to what happened this year.

I think it is good that a couple small states have the first primaries, so that candidates who are not well known have a chance to build some momentum without immediately having to spend millions on ads in the country's biggest media markets.  I would suggest three changes:

1.) The early small states should rotate who gets to go first, and sometimes include states with SOME minority population, like NM or DE.

2.) The whole process should be more spread out.  Put the second Primary two weeks after the first, and put Super Tuesday at the end of March rather than the beginning.  

3.) There should be some provision forcing totally unviable candidates to drop out at some point, or at least get them out of the debates.
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angus
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2004, 10:00:19 pm »
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Go back to the way it was before 1968.  Smoke-filled rooms with people who actually follow public policy debates picking the candidates.  You'd have better quality candidates and a fair fight between the Democrats and Republicans.  It also removes the stench of populism from the process.  No more beauty contests, no more richest guy wins, no more drifting apart because of intractable social wedge issues.  Just one Democrat with a vision for economic prosperity vs. one Republican with a vision for economic prosperity.
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classical liberal
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2004, 10:04:59 pm »
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You forgot Nebraska.
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NHPolitico
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2004, 01:08:27 pm »
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Go back to the way it was before 1968.  Smoke-filled rooms with people who actually follow public policy debates picking the candidates.  You'd have better quality candidates and a fair fight between the Democrats and Republicans.  It also removes the stench of populism from the process.  No more beauty contests, no more richest guy wins, no more drifting apart because of intractable social wedge issues.  Just one Democrat with a vision for economic prosperity vs. one Republican with a vision for economic prosperity.

You'd still have ended up with Bush-Gore in 2000 and Bush-Kerry in 2004. Maybe the smoke filled rooms are still in effect-- they just count the votes the way they want to.

Smiley
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angus
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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2004, 01:20:32 pm »
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Hmmmm.  Well, with a nonzero delegate count for Dennis the Menace I find it a tad hard to believe that informed people are the ones calling the shots.  Wink
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tweed
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« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2004, 05:54:18 pm »
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Don't pay attention to Joebialek, he posts at millions of boards around the net about 5 times a year.
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they live in between a, 'what is' and 'what if?'
jerusalemcar5
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2006, 07:52:05 pm »
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I believe there should be five days of primaries, ten states a day.  These states would be randomly selected at the beginning of the year and the five days would be in the middle of March.  I understand the need to build momentem for lowly candidates, but it is more important to stop blind voting.
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