Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, our system of primaries and caucuses are a method of selecting candidates designed by a bipolar orangutan with a masochistic streak.
Somewhere along the line, New Hampshire’s claim on being the first primary of the season become sacrosanct. Why? You could stick 28 New Hampshires into Texas and still have enough space to cram in a couple of Delawares. The Hawkeye Cauci? Corn, and cows, and sideways coin flips? That’s enough to knock candidates out of the race? It’s ludicrous.
If you google the terms “Reforming the Primaries” you mainly get a litany of liberal fixes. And I mean that in the same way that the vet “fixed” Fido. Only here, the emasculation is aimed directly at the Republican Party. Among their pet “reforms” are same-day registering with no required identification and completely open primaries. In states such as California, they’ve found this to be very effective in making sure no one is ever faced with the possibility of accidentally voting for a Republican. It makes the voting booth the equivalent of a college safe place. We wouldn’t want anybody faced with the microaggression of seeing an “R” on their ballot.
Moving elections to the weekends is another liberal pet project, apparently because Tuesdays are too burdensome. I don’t understand that. In most states, polls are open from 12 to 13 hours. Take away an eight-hour work day and there’s still four to five hours left to do your 15 minutes of civic duty. That is, unless The International Communist and Socialist Committee for The Destruction of the Individual and the Promotion of Free Monthly Underwear can only get the back room of the pizza parlor on the first Tuesday of every month. I mean those meetings last for frickin’ hours.
Another solution is declaring election days paid holidays. At the right time of the year, that only assures that — instead of not voting from home — people will not vote from the lake.
As for proposals to make voting mandatory, well, nothing says “freedom” like compulsory action under penalty from an authoritarian state.
All of this is nonsense, of course, and would require some sort of Congressional action. And not just legislation, but legislation that could be defended in the courts. Both the DNC and RNC could rightly claim the federal government had no compelling interest in telling them how they run the pure party function of selecting candidates.
Any reform would need to come from the parties themselves. To help Reince and company, I offer The Hill Plan:
Break the country into five regions — with states in each to hold primaries on the same day — and reduce the primary season to the months of March, April, and May. In the first election after its adoption, the order would be chosen by lottery; after that, by the highest percentages of voter participation in the previous primary season.
The first sanctioned debate would be held on Lincoln’s birthday and the first regional primary on the first Tuesday in March, with each subsequent primary taking place every two weeks until mid-May. The weeks that no voting occurs are left for scheduling additional debates. All primaries would be closed and delegates would be proportionally chosen.
There. Wasn’t that simple?