Just last week Utah had their political party caucuses.  The attendance at these meetings this year was double or more than in previous years.  This is a great thing.  We really do need more involvement from regular people.

For those not familiar with Utah politics, the political parties have bi-annual meetings for the public where people elect representatives to the county and state party conventions where the party officers are elected and the candidates seeking a party’s nomination are chosen.  If a candidate does not win at the convention then there is a primary election before the general election.

The offices to be voted on this year include all of the state legislative seats, half of the state senate seats, the Governor, one U.S. Senate seat and three U.S. Representative seats.  This will be an interesting year.

It seems every election cycle there are complaints about the quality of the candidates and shocked disbelief that some of them continue to be elected year after year.  (Senator Chris Buttars is just one example).  There is a groundswell of discontent with the current elected officials, we will see if this translates to the ballot box.

This increase in political activism will have benefits for the voting in November this year.  While people have in the past merely complained that people are just voting with the candidate with either an “R” or “D” after their name this year the people will have had a larger voice in who is on the ballot this fall because a larger portion of the populace participated in choosing the delegates to the conventions.  It is not just the activists or extreme party faithful who got out to the meetings this year.

It is important that the participation continues.  There will still be votes for the party officers at the state and county levels in Utah next year.  The parties carry much more political clout than they are given credit for.  The parties recruit candidates, help to fund campaigns, develop party platforms which ideally would then translate into public policy.  The parties are working behind the scenes to maintain power and to elect as many members of their party as possible.  Choosing the party leadership you want is very important as well.  Keep being involved in politics.

It should have gone without saying, but we need to be peaceful in our actions.  Ever since the very controversial passage of the ObamaCare Healthcare bill, there have been some threatening phone messages left and one report of a brick being thrown through the window of a Democratic Congressman who voted in support of the bill.  The violence is also going against Republican lawmakers who voted against the bill including gunshots into the office of a Republican member of the House and a voicemail to another lawmaker threatening to use a gun against Tea Party members.  (Tea Party members are likely to be armed already, so it is a bad idea on that front as well.)

We need to be peaceful and work within the system.  We need to resolve our differences peacefully and we will have better results.

Comments Welcome

Advertisements