How does a caucus work?

Life is series of mystery. Politics ought not to be a mystery. But, it often seems like every few years your news channel or social media get blown up with some smiling, well dressed politician campaigning for some position. You know that having representatives that have your same political leanings is important so that you have laws and policies you agree with. But you just don’t know these people. How did they get to get to be the smiling face of a party? Who says that they truly represent your interests?

This is where your involvement becomes relevant to the political process.

Every state has a different system. But there are general steps that are universal to state that use a caucus system, the system used in Utah. To learn about the nuances of Utah’s caucus system go to www.utgop.org. Here are the general steps to get you going:

  1. First, citizens gather at caucuses to vote for delegates. A caucus is a gathering within a small geographical area called a precinct. A delegate is someone that is chosen to represent the districts interest.  The citizens at the caucus nominate people they think would be good delegates to represent their precinct at larger party conventions. The nominees then give presentations that spell out what issues are important to them. You then vote on a delegate that you think represents your interests. It is very important to be sure that you choose someone who best represents your interests because these delegates then go on to larger conventions to choose who gets to be on the ballot for certain elections.
  2. Next, the delegate you selected goes to larger state conventions where they nominate potential candidates for whatever election is relevant. After nominations and presentations as to why potential candidates represent the area the best, the delegate you chose votes on who should be on the ballot for that election. Sometimes there are ties or no clear winners after the first vote. The delegates keep voting and discussing who should be the candidate until a clear winner is chosen through run off or cascading votes. Most work like this: the delegates vote and the potential candidate with the least number of votes is disqualified. The cycle continues until there is one clear winner of the candidacy.
  3. After the delegates select a candidate, they are then the official party selection for candidacy for that election. This is where you come in again. You go to poll stations in general elections to choose which parties candidate get to take that office.

 

Here is a story that outlines one example of the whole process in motion.

You go to a caucus and find that Jane Doe really represents your interests and the interest of the precinct well. You nominate her to be a delegate. It turns out that a lot of people feel the same way and she is chosen as a delegate for your precinct. Jane Doe then goes to a convention where the goal is to choose a candidate for an open state senate seat. Using her knowledge of what your interests and the interest of your precinct are, she votes for Joe Busybody to be the party candidate to run for the open state senate seat. There are no clear winners after a first round of voting. The candidate with the least number of votes is eliminated. Jane Doe votes again and again until there is a clear winner. Turns out Joe Busybody wins. He becomes the party representative for that elections cycle. The general election comes around and Joe Busybody is your party’s candidate chosen by a delegate that you chose. Now, you get a chance to vote for a candidate that represents your interests and it all started with you.

Does this help demystify the mystery of how the party system works? If there is something that you want to know more about, feel free to send us an email at provovictorycenter@utgop.org and we will do our best to answer your questions regarding the caucus system.

Chris Larson – Intern

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Mothers are important

Mothers are important. It’s true. I am of the opinion that mothers provide the emotional core of the family. If weren’t for a loving mother, many people would not be where they are today.

As reported by William Herndon (Abraham Lincoln’s biographer and law partner), Abraham Lincoln declared the following:

“All that I am or hope to be I get from my mother; God bless her.”

Mothers create a universal heritage for all humanity. You wouldn’t be here to read this post if it weren’t for a mother. Even if your mother wasn’t prominent in your life, more often than not, some kind and gentle soul stepped in to fill that mother’s role of love and nurturing.

Without mothers, no one would be there to kiss boo boos, make sack lunches, provide clean underwear, explain the perplexing mysteries of life like where babies come from or provide an all-in-one chauffeur, psychological, tutoring, crafting, and cosmetic service.

On this blog we try to incorporate what we feel about issues in the context of our participation in RNC’s Provo Victory Center.

Borrowing from the 2012 Platform of the RNC, I feel that this quote encapsulates what our feelings in this context.

“We are the party of independent individuals and the institutions they create – families, schools, congregations, neighborhoods – are to advance their ideals and make real their dreams. Foremost among those institutions is the American family. It is the foundation of our society and the first level of self-government. Its daily lessons – cooperation, patience, mutual respect, responsibility, self-reliance – are fundamental to the order and progress of our Republic. Government can never replace the family.”

Government can never replace the family. And, nothing can replace a mother.

Further, the tradition of a mother and a father in a stable home is a place beyond compare. I know because I am the product of such a home.

I love my mother. She is the foundation and beginning of every good thing that I have in my life. She is my compass and refuge. She is the greatest woman I know. Today, I say that I love you.

Here is final salute to all mothers who have made humanity so great.

“We love you mothers, everywhere.”

Chris Larson – Intern

 

“We have government by the majority who participate…”

It’s been said before that you reap what you sow, that what goes around comes around.

This is especially true in our American democracy. John Locke postulate that social liberty declares no legislative power other than that founded by the consent of the commonwealth should hold governing power over individuals. This consent is the source of power for a democratic government whose goal is protection of porperty and general well being. He further says that individuals have a right and a duty to change the government if it ever becomes destructive to the ends they set it up to originally.

When we participate in political activities, we are making attempts to change the government in a way we see fit. In many ways, we often get out of our political landscape what we put in.

It is absolutely true that one will never get what they want from politics or government  if they never participate. The truth of the matter is, the power of participation by individual pushes power to the ends they seek.

Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying thus: “We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”

You hold power to shape government by your actions. By participating you help shape how you want your government to look.

This is where the Provo Victory Center comes in. If there is any question as to how and where you can place your efforts for the most effect, look to the Provo Victory Center for help. We will put you in the right direction to affect serious change. Contact us at provovictorycenter.utgop.org any time to set up a time to come in.

 

Chris Larson – Intern