27 January 2008

Caucuses vs. Primaries

Presidential caucuses and primaries both have a number of advantages over one another. However, primaries are, I think, a much better way to choose a party’s candidate for president.

Although one can argue that caucuses could be better due to the natural filtering out of inactive citizens (people that are not concerned with politics at a deep level probably wouldn’t take the time to attend a caucus), there are major problems with this system. For example, it’s hard for people to attend. People of certain professions may not be able to take out the time for caucuses. Another negative is that people can be persuaded by a candidate’s suave representative, rather than the issue at hand. Also, caucuses might not represent the true feelings of the people in the state. This sort of goes back to the “filtering out” of some citizens that don’t want to take the time to attend a caucus; even if they don’t go, their vote should still count. However, since there is no voting system, this isn’t possible.

Primaries allow all citizens to elect the candidate for their party with the freedom to vote when it’s convenient for them. Also, more people generally vote in primaries, meaning that the results are much closer to what the people really want. The biggest reason a primary is the best choice is that it gets us closer to a pure democracy. Although it’s impossible that America will ever be anything but a representative democracy due to size, having some form of that ideal democracy makes people feel involved.

Because a primary is more truly representative of what people want in their candidates, it is a better system than a caucus, where less people attend and decide for everyone.

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