Sunday, July 24, 2005

2008 - Michigan GOP Going to caucus system??

The Hill released this story on the 14th. I have some excerpts from it here, but I recommend the article.

""""Michigan bucks McCain
By Peter Savodnik

Michigan Republicans want to bar Democrats and independents from the GOP’s 2008 presidential primary — a step that would present a major hurdle for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), should he decide to run for the White House in 2008.

In 2000, McCain’s campaign against then-Gov. George W. Bush gained momentum after he won the Michigan primary by appealing to voters outside the GOP. Should McCain run, Michigan would be a critical component of his strategy to win the Republican presidential nomination.""""

We had closed primaries before in 1992 for presidential elections. They were ruled are unconstituional under state law. I remember that well as my mom became a democrat to vote against Bill Clinton since she couldn't stand him even back then.

"""Michigan party officials hope the new system will give grassroots activists a greater role in the selection process. Republicans said the process could include caucuses or a nominating convention."""

I actually like open primaries when both sides have them on the same day. The problem is that an open primary for presidential elections is against democrat bylaws, which leads to our current system. The democrats operate a caucus and the republicans have an open primary which democrats can vote in. This opens the door for shenanigans which are nothing new in Michigan politics. We still have open primaries for elections outside of the presidency, attorney general, secretary of state, and education boards. The democrats got us good with McCain(although I actually voted for Alan Keyes then). I voted for Jim Blanchard in the 2002 primary since I though he was easiest to beat. Some of us I'm sure voted for Geoffrey Fieger back in 98.

""""But other Republicans said the new system would undoubtedly hurt McCain by helping his rivals. “Caucuses would be best for the most conservative candidates,” a Michigan Republican with ties to party officials said. “A convention would be next. Open primary would be the least desirable.”"""

If both sides can't have open primaries, I support caucuses as they are the most accessable. It was not that hard for democrats to vote in the Michigan caucuses. Almost anyone could show up providing they sign an oath saying they are a democrat. A nominating convention will cause a LOT of political infighting though the games which would be played. If we go that route, it does raise the stakes and importance of the usually unopposed precinct delegate position. I ran for it twice and was unopponed, even in a strong GOP area. The precinct delegates can be appointed or elected, and decide who gets to be a delegate at state convention. State conventions are how the party nominations for Attorney General, Secretary of state, Supreme Court nominations, and education boards are decided currently.

"""Miller said that the rules dictating who can vote in a primary would not play a leading role in deciding who wins the primary. But she conceded that it is party regulars — conservative activists who show up to vote, attend rallies and canvass precincts, rain or shine — who dominate caucuses.""""

That's how it should be. Those who do the work and are the most active should have the most say. The ones I usually see active are right to life, tax hawks, and gun owners.

“Michigan is another example of the far right taking over the Republican Party,” Democratic consultant Peter Fenn said. “It is their way or the highway. They want to remove any chance or remote possibility that a moderate Republican who appeals to independents and, heaven forbid, some Democrats might win an election. It is all about McCain and others like him who don’t kowtow to their extremist agenda. It is all about control, control, control and more control.”

That is flat out nothing more than a giant hypocritical pile of horse manure. The democrats here already use a caucus. They didn't want an open primary with someone like Joe Lieberman or Dennis Kucinich winning.

I'd like to see an open primary in both sides myself, but if we can't do that, let's use the caucus system so we vote in our own, and the democrats vote in their own.

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