Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Monday, April 11, 2016

Fixing The Nominating Process

This year's "unusual" primary season has exposed the ungodly mess that is the nominating process for president.  In a sane system the following changes would be made:

1) No more caucuses. If the idea is to garner the broadest possible support, then caucuses inevitably warp this process, because they reward those with the time and energy to sit in a room for several hours.

2) Reduce the superdelegates.  They serve a purpose, because it is the party apparatus that should have some say in the selection of the party's candidate.  But they shouldn't make up more than 10% of the delegates and they should be elected leaders, not party hacks.

3) The calendar needs to change.  Iowa and New Hampshire should share the stage with South Carolina and Nevada.  All four go on the same day.  All four are primaries, not caucuses.  This allows for regional and national candidates to stake themselves to a claim to continue.  The retail politicking that takes place in Iowa is frankly unrepresentative of both the November election and being president.  It tells us nothing but how well a candidate can pander to Iowans.  But having a New England, Southern and Western state on the same day allows different candidates with different appeals a chance to stake a claim.

4) The calendar needs to change some more.  There are too many primary days.  If we get rid of caucuses and conventions, that would cut down on some of the days, but there should only be about six or seven primary days after the first day outlined above.  Saturdays are nice, because you can capture more people.  After the first primary, maybe two weeks later you have a Saturday primary with Georgia, Alabama, Oregon, Washington, Kansas, Oklahoma, Michigan, Maine and Massachusetts.  Two Saturdays later it's Texas, California, New York and Illinois.  Two week after that, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Colorado....You get the idea.  You clump some neighboring states together to allow the candidates more efficient travel schedules, but you hold primaries in several different regions to prevent regional candidates from being disproportionately favored.

Parties set their own rules.  Ideally, the Democrats and Republicans could work together on this since it's not policy related and this has been a stomach churning season, especially on the GOP side.

You're welcome, America.

No comments: