Sunday, September 7, 2008

There's Hope for Reforming the Primary/Caucus Process

I got this in my email today from Don Means at the National Presidential Caucus:
"In an unprecedented move, the GOP Convention, at the last minute and for the first time, gave themselves permission to take up calendar reform after the convention. Following the Democrats' example the RNC will also create a new reform-specific commission to propose changes for adoption over the next 12-18 months. So now there will be two separate but parallel partisan committees working to overhaul of the dysfunctional primary/caucus process for 2012. In the arcane world of primary reform, this is big news.

Building on its June 24th gathering in New York, the National Presidential Caucus(NPC) brokered the first bi-partisan
Joint Resolution for 2012 Reform on Aug. 19 in D.C. among the parties' Rules Committee Chairs and the National Association of Secretaries of State calling for a later start date; endorsing principles of fairness, orderliness and inclusiveness; and committing to an ongoing bi-partisan collaboration process to bridge the independent domains of the private political parties and government bodies. It was a start.

Now the GOP has opened the door for meaningful reform by liberating this extremely difficult complex issue from the vagaries and momentary priorities of a national convention. Real reform is now more possible than ever.

The NPC plans to reconvene in early '09 drawing members of the two new "Change Commissions" as well as secretaries of state, governors, & influential state legislators together for mutual education, inter-party relationship building, and consensus making. The NPC is also working with many organizations who have been diligently advocating reform for years: New American Foundation, Common Cause, Fair Vote, etc.

A tall order but there's no one else to play the mediator/moderator role. That's why we're asking for your help now as we navigate & negotiate among the push and pull of these large, established political, civic and governmental forces. We need you now more than ever. The chances for real success are greater than ever."
My ultimate dream is a single primary in .... oh .... let's say May ... of any given election year ... but hey ... at least the RNC won't be dictating the primary schedule for all the political parties. And ... with any luck, they might actually consider a proposal such as the 3-part initiative being proposed by Senator Bill Nelson of Florida.
  • Part 1 proposes to abolish the Electoral College (hoorah!),
  • Part 2 would give voters a much greater say in picking their party’s presidential nominee (hoorah, hoorah!), and
  • Part 3 would improve voter rolls, remove barriers to voting, and ensure that votes cast are actually counted (now we're talking!).

Given that it will most likely be the party elite deciding how things are going to be done instead of regular folks like you and me ... I just don't have much hope of seeing anything that bold actually passing muster. But there's always hope.

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