KSL put this story out today.  There is an ongoing drumbeat to get rid of the Utah mass meeting system for selecting delegates.

There is an ongoing concern that there needs to be more political involvement and that voter turnout is so low.

I find it interesting that KSL would publish a story titled: “News Analysis: A Political System for a Select Few?”

The article bemoans low voter turnout and how the people involved in mass meetings tend to be more conservative or liberal than the rest of the state.   That’s normal.  The people who care enough to show up for the meetings tend to have more extreme views.

I strongly expect that we are having such low voter turnout because in so many races, the big ones tend to be more or less predetermined in Utah.  The Republican will win in the major headline race which tends to depress voter turnout.  Historically a Presidential election will have better turnout than an off-year election because of the attraction of voting for President.   When the big race is already decided in this state, turnout suffers.

Bill Clinton came in third place behind Ross Perot, twice.  Utah is very conservative, so the Democrats have a very small chance of being elected to statewide office.  The last Democrat elected to statewide office was Jan Graham who was mostly non-political during her term of office.

That is why voter turnout is so low.  People are jaded about whether their vote even matters.  Going away from the mass meetings won’t help either and here is why.

Requiring primary elections will close the political system to anyone who is not already wealthy or who does not take lots of money from large businesses.  The cost of running a campaign will skyrocket and the power to get people elected will flow to large business and media interests.  This would be exactly what KSL says they are trying to avoid, only the big companies and voices would have the power instead of the politically active individuals.

KSL’s ideas would not provide some sort of utopian middle ground.  It would give KSL more power.

In the weeks leading up to Sen. Bennett’s loss at the convention, the Deseret News and KSL were running stories about how great Sen. Bennett is and why he should remain in office.  The media voice failed to re-elect Bennett.  Now they want to try and take their power back.

My biggest problem is that Sen. Bennett first ran on a platform of not being a career politician.  He was a senator for 18 years which would constitute a career for most people.  Sen. Hatch needs to go as well, for the same reason.  Potomac fever is not becoming of anyone.  The mass meeting system helps politicians to be retired.

Bad move, KSL.

“Politicians are like diapers; they need to be changed often and for the same reason.”
— Mark Twain

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