« BACK  |  PRINT

RS

MEMBER DIARY

The Party of Reform-Election Reform.

One theme that rightfully seems to keep coming up lately here and among the GOP as a whole is the problems with the election process. The number of subjects include:

Early primaries in states not representative of the party as a whole
Leapfrogging primaries
Lack of a 50 state strategy
Apathy among supporters of underdog candidates
Depressed turnout in western states
Open primaries with crossover voters
Financial disclosure in campaign contributions
Voter fraud

Okay, I might have added some. But the fact is that there is a serious set of problems-and also an opportunity. One of the worst ‘reforms’ instituted by our late-not-so-great candidate was his Campaign Finance ‘reform’. And for the record, whenever a Democrat or one of their allies use the word reform, the quotation marks are required. They are and have been what they claim to be-the party of change. Of course, the Jacobins, Bolsheviks and Fascists were pretty much all about change as well. The thing that has historically given the GOP success is not change, or conservatism, or persuasion, but Reform. From Reagan’s tax cuts to Gingrich’s Contract With America, if we run as the Party of Reform, we win. And there is no better issue right now than this one.

First principles:

I tend to believe that we live in a center/right nation, that all things being equal, would respond to a dynamic center/right party over an elitist leftist party addicted to power and non-mainstream dogma. And the way to do this is to focus on issues and solutions that unify our party, that speak to the electorate as a whole, and that divide them and us from the party in power. It worked for Gingrich, and for Reagan before him. What I propose would hopefully not only expand and strengthen our party internally, but also attract switch voters, uncommiteds, and even third parties.

Financial disclosure in campaign contributions
Voter fraud

If there is one thing that the last election showed it was the idiocy of thinking that the Democrats’ (and that other guy’s) finance ‘reform’ would take money out of politics. Leaving aside the rise of the Soroses of the world, the fact that The One could essentially buy the election with donations from totally unknown sources shows the need for Congressional action. The GOP leadership needs to press for a bill to mandate full disclosure in real time of any and all contributions, especially over the Internet. They should also press for hearings over the systemic vote fraud attempted by ACORN. Whether this is successful or not, it would set the tone for the 2010 elections.

Open primaries with crossover voters

On the open primaries-there is little to be done about crossover voting. The best we can do is set a time limit on how soon before said primaries you can change party affiliation. Possibly the RNC can pressure the state parties to do so, but this will have to be a local matter.

Early primaries in states not representative of the party as a whole
Leapfrogging primaries
Lack of a 50 state strategy
Apathy among supporters of underdog candidates
Depressed turnout in western states

On these problems, there may be a solution-proportional voting with instant runoffs. The early Iowa caucuses and primaries in New Hampshire, South Carolina, etc. may give a certain candidate momentum, but it wouldn’t be that much of a long run problem with proportional representation. And if states like Michigan and Florida wish to move their primaries up, let them as long as the votes are broken down proportionally. Proportional representation also would encourage western states like Kali where a voter’s preferred candidate wouldn’t already be eliminated on Super Tuesday before the polls even close. As far as instant runoffs- Let’s say you are a Fredhead who REALLY hates McCain. Or a Romney supporter who can’t STAND McCain. Or a Huckabee supporter who despises Mormons (just kidding). With instant runoffs, you vote for your preferred candidate, and a second choice. If your preferred candidate gets less than a certain percentage (15%, whatever the equivalent of two delegates is, or something like that) he is eliminated and your second choice vote is counted. This would encourage supporters of underdog candidate to vote their hearts AND their heads. And it would strengthen the efforts of superior candidates who are being triangulated out of the race.

As far as the general election, putting proportional voting and instant runoffs into effect instantly turn it into a 50 state battle. It also gives reason for Republicans on the west coast to get out and vote even if they know their guy isn’t going to carry the state. On top of that, it encourages third parties to get out and do their thing-and tells them who is fighting for the right to do so.

I believe if the GOP adopted this it would be effective both politically and electoraly. Like I said, go back to being what has always won for us.

The Party of Reform.

Get Alerts