Why Parties?

The question has been asked since before George Washington recommended we not establish parties at the founding of our nation. It is a fair criticism, why do we need political parties at all? With the divide the Utah Republican Party is experiencing, should we scrap the Republican Party entirely?

Having been on both sides of this argument, I would like to share my thoughts.

Disadvantage

The disadvantage of political parties is that they tend to polarize issues. Rather than questioning how and what to tax, we have two general opinions: raise all taxes, or lower all taxes. This can easily get in the way of finding real solutions, and the debates tend to devolve into Democrat vs Democrat-lite.

I would contend the gridlock exists because there tends to be as little difference between the two parties as there is accountability. In other words, if the people are able to hold their representatives accountable, they will make sure their candidate is finding solutions, or will be removed. The gridlock disappears when politicians represent the people, rather than representing special interest groups, and this criticism of the parties is really a criticism of apathetic voters not holding representatives accountable.

Advantage

The whole purpose of political parties is to unite people who already hold common beliefs, or who value common principles. These beliefs and principles can be found in the party platform.

Candidates and delegates cannot morally run for a position of representation in a party they largely disagree with. 

So what happens when someone agrees with with much of the platform, but not all? It would be difficult, if not impossible, to form parties where every member agrees 100% of the time.

How (and When) to Unite

Fortunately, we do not need to agree on everything to work together. People that share the same goals, values and principles, can come to a good compromise. People who do not share the same goals, values, and principles will have a very difficult time coming to any sort of agreeable compromise. 

I believe this is what is happening in the Utah Republican Party, and is causing the divide. People who share different values and goals have realized that Utah is a Conservative state, similar to California being a Liberal state, making it difficult to run or elect anyone as anything other than as a Republican. 

Essentially, a few members come into a party they largely disagree with (according to the party platform the rest of the members have aligned themselves to) and try to change the party to better suit their views. 

In an effort to make the Utah Republican Party a “big tent” party, they preach the concept of “Unity at all Costs.” But can a party be unified when it’s members differ in goals and principles? Likely the answer is, “no.” And that’s okay. That’s why we have multiple parties, to help people of multiple views organize themselves together.

The First Amendment gives us the right to assemble, meaning we can choose who we assemble with. We can choose how our assembly is run. The government is not permitted to force our assembly to associate with those that disagree with us so greatly, on issues that are very important to us. The issues we hear from the “Big Tent Republicans” are calls for us to be more moderate on issues of abortion, gay marriage, the right to self defense, the right to freedom of assembly, taxation, and the proper role of government.

When this is the case, where someone agrees with, say, 50% of the party platform and disagrees on the rest, there are typically conflicting principles in the person’s mind. These inconsistent principles likely need to worked out by that person to gain more consistency, and get rid of cognitive dissonance. Another option is for them to take another look at the various party platforms and find the one that best represents their views.

For your convenience, I have included links to all of the major party platforms in Utah, since this is where Delegate Digest is currently focused, so you can find which party best reflects your opinion. You may be surprised at the result!

 

America Needs More Caucuses & Less Primaries

Trust in Congress is at an all time low, and yet the incumbency rate is still 90%. What can Americans do to replace bad incumbents and get new, grassroot voices in office so we can restore our faith in Congress? 

The current prevailing system, direct primaries via signature gathering, favor the wealthy and popular. Voters tend to vote based on name recognition, not on principle. This is not because the average American is stupid, rather, it is a simple fact of human psychology. When we are unfamiliar with a situation, we will seek the familiar.

The majority of states have demonstrated for decades that the signature path/direct primaries are ineffective in consistently electing trustworthy Congressmen. Utah, on the other hand, demonstrates that the Neighborhood Caucus-Convention System is better at consistently giving grassroots candidates the advantage over those who would otherwise win by outspending the underdog.

From the article:

“As someone who has spent years recruiting and championing primary challengers to the establishment, I could write a book on how the system is irremediably broken. It is truly the nightmare our Founders envisioned that direct democracy would be, but it is even more potent in primaries, where name ID is everything.

Representative conventions are the great equalizer against the media. 

“Imagine if every red state held a convention instead of primaries and that determined the nominee on the spot? Sure, we wouldn’t win every nomination, but we’d have a better record than our five percent success rate in the House and essentially zero percent rate in the Senate.”

 Note: The following article is shared not to criticize Mitt Romney, but to demonstrate that the Neighborhood Caucus System is far more effective at giving grassroots candidates a shot, and denying popular candidates from being shooed in by the media without competition.

Featured Article

Romney’s Utah setback proves nominating conventions could fix the Senate

"If we continue down the current path with popular primaries, we will continue to elect the same Republicans – even in solid red states, even as they commit one political betrayal after another."

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About Us

Delegate Digest is dedicated the mission of protecting and rejuvenating the Neighborhood Caucus/Convention System.

We believe the best way to protect the caucus system is to rejuvenate it. Simply implementing it’s inherit organizational structure, unique at the grassroots level, will show people how genius small government representation truly is, and how vastly superior it is to pure democracy.

Rather than protecting the status quo, we need to implement modern technology to help get people to their caucus meeting, and keep them involved and informed in the time between.

Our hope is that upon seeing the caucus system fully implemented and representing their views, the citizens of Utah will laugh at attempts to subvert or destroy the caucus system.