Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

An Issue We Should All Come Together Around

Posted by Adam Graham on March 7, 2007

On WhereIStand, we argue about a lot of issues, but there are some issues that transcend partisanship and believe it or not, transcend ideology.

 

Our Republic depends on many things. The ability of people to have an informed and reasoned debate over who leads our country is one of them.

If we lose that than this is really all for naught. Whether right or left, we all lose out in the current process. While those of us on the blogs will take notice, Americans are going to be asked to vote with little idea who the candidates are, and under immense pressure to pick the winner.

You may not agree with Oatney and I that the Caucus and Convention are the best way to pick the nominees, but is this atmosphere that demands quick choices on each party’s pick to hold the nuclear button a good and sensible idea? For those of you on the left, I’d remind you our current system gave us George W. Bush.

There are many alternatives that are discussed. Consider:

1) Regional Primaries:

Iowa and New Hampshire go first in February, the other states are then divided into regions and every four years, one region goes first and one goes last through March, April, May, and June. That way, some states don’t end up voting dead last in the process every year and everyone gets a chance to be engaged.

2) The Delaware Plan:

Under this plan, Iowa and New Hampshire go and February, then the other states go in March, April, May, and June, but this time, small states go first, followed by medium states, and then a final primary of large states. This is a win-win-win situation.

The small states get influence by being able to provide early momentum for dark horses and other candidates, the medium states will winnow the field, and the large states will be necessary to close the deal. Think about this, the Presidential nominees won’t be chosen until June. Rather than $100 million up front, candidates will probably need only $20 million before Iowa.

The great challenge is that something has to be done. The effort must be bi-partisan. There’s no other way to fundamentally change the system. The demand must come from activists on both sides who want our party’s primaries to be more than an opportunity for big money contributors to buy themselves a President. The grassroots of America must have their say in both parties. 

While I don’t think we can agree on much, perhaps we can agree that our primary system fundamentally broken and for our nation to succeed we must repair the breach. We may fight about a lot of things, but our fights should be fair, above board, and in accordance with principles of voter participation, openness, and an informed electorate.

It is only when we make these the non-partisan issues of our day that other political reforms will ever become possible.

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