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View Diary: Gallup: Mitt Romney least popular Republican nominee in modern history within own party (118 comments)

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  •  McGovern-Fraser was a bad development (0+ / 0-)

    not because it shifted to primaries but because it shifted too much to primaries, which have now helped to build extremists into an incredibly powerful force in the political process. So, rather than strengthening democracy in the USA, McGovern-Fraser actually made things much worse.

    The problem is essentially this: what is the best way to select a slate of candidates for an election? And, of all the various ways in which one might do it, primaries as currently conceived are pretty much the worst. Of course, getting rid of the existing primary system doesn't mean automatically going back to the old system, although we did get Lincoln and FDR out that supposedly bad old system.

    I have wondered whether just having a signature collecting drive in an electorate 6 or so months before an election by anyone who wants to run might be better, with the top 3 collectors getting on the ballot, regardless of Party. This would possibly select for less extreme candidates, since most people are in the middle and that's where presumably the most signatures are. People would be prohibited from being paid for their endorsement.

    Fructose is a liver poison. Stop eating it today.

    by Anne Elk on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 02:35:12 PM PDT

    •  Primaries work against extremists (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike

      Caucuses work for extremists.

      See: Paultard, Ron

      Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

      by tommypaine on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 02:40:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I do not agree (0+ / 0-)

        Primaries bring out true believers who tend to be extremists. If you look at similar countries like Australia and New Zealand that do not have primaries, the major parties tend to be quite close ideologically. Before primaries in the USA, the two parties were much closer ideologically than they are today. And if you look at the partisan divide index, you can see that it begins to diverge dramatically from 1972 on. The only similar level of partisanship was during and immediately after the civil war, understandably enough. So, caucuses to one side, primaries as currently construed have been very bad for American politics, and are a major driver of the power of organizations like NRA, etc. It also makes money an enormous determinant in elections. Over 50% of the House is composed of millionaires. You may want to think about this a little more.

        Fructose is a liver poison. Stop eating it today.

        by Anne Elk on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 03:17:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, not in the US (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Anonyman

          The NRA has next to no influence on Prez elections.

          Primaries have been a godsend, unless you believe 20 people should decide who the parties should nominate.

          Caucuses are the extremists' heaven.

          Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

          by tommypaine on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 04:24:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not all elections are presidential (0+ / 0-)

            Why is this comment getting such shallow replies? I said SPECIFICALLY that you don't have to go back to the old system  in order to get rid of the present one. Do you just have one of this binary brains or something? There are lots of ways to choose a slate of candidates. Americans have - as usual - chosen the worst system but, also typically American, are equally convinced that it couldn't be improved upon in any way.

            Fructose is a liver poison. Stop eating it today.

            by Anne Elk on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 05:08:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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