Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Pyramid Scheme

Am I the only one who is dissatisfied with the primary process to elect a President? Is there a way to keep it around that will address shortcomings and hopefully produce a pair of worthy candidates? If you have a better idea I would love to hear it. For now, here is mine.

I don't mind spreading the states out over a period of months. But it seems that right now certain states are spread out far enough that some are disenfranchised. At the moment, Texas will be a key state for the Dems. But, if you are Republican your candidate is already virtually locked in. Basically, under the current system, if your favorite candidate drops out, you may lose the option of helping him or her. I hope to address that here.

My concept is a pyramid scheme that I think would work so much better. The first state at the top of the pyramid would be whoever is traditionally first in the nation. I think that Iowa would be it. Then two weeks later you hold the next two states. Again, for traditions sake I would put New Hampshire and Wyoming in the second group of two. Two weeks later you would hold the next four primaries. Then eight, then sixteen, then twenty. Each would be two weeks apart and have about twice as many as the one before it.

The first three were placed as a nod to tradition. The remaining forty-seven (or is it forty-eight with DC?) would be in order from the lowest to the highest in delegate counts. So, the final tier of either twenty or twenty-one would truly be a "Super Tuesday" as they would all be potentially the deciding state.

Why bother changing things? In my own case I am a bit ticked off that my state comes at a time when the majority of the original slate has quit. I've also heard folks calling for a one-day national primary. I really want to halt that idea in it's tracks. I respect that each party makes it's own rules and would hope that they see this as an improvement after I explain all the advantages.

The very first advantage is that it will potentially allow many folks with little or no money to run. A national primary would be impossible for a "small" candidate to make a run for it because of the expense. This way, he or she can potentially do well and make enough in donations to move to the next level. Since each level doubles the previous one, you will have to do well or drop. So, there is still an evolutionary element to weed out the weak.

The next advantage is that by doubling the states each week we subject the candidates to a stressful and potentially exhausting campaign. The reason for this designed cruelty is to evaluate how they perform under stress and how they manage things as the stress only gets greater. The Presidency is a 24/7 occupation. It visibly ages the people who hold the job. A candidate who cannot maintain the pace, and maintain his or her bearing and comportment will likely fail in office.

Another advantage is that by stacking the delegates from lowest (except perhaps for the traditional first three) to highest, no one candidate gets a "mandate" allowing them to slack off later down the road. Because the margins are thinner, there will be far more intense competition all the way to the convention. It won't be until the "Super Tuesday" of the final twenty or twenty-one that anyone is likely to break free.

The final obvious advantage is that the primary season will be shorter, more intense, and far more focused.

So there it is. While there would be state by state tweaks by the parties and the national headquarters, the system would be an improvement over our current one. It would preserve tradition to an extent. It would allow smaller candidates a better chance to prove themselves. It would virtually eliminate creating states where your vote was really pointless. And it would allow us to observe the candidates under near "job-quality" stress and compress the primaries into a far more palatable time frame.

Some other things I would hope are worth considering: We should close the primary so that only the registered party members can vote. The winner take all states should consider proportionate delegate assignments based on the popular vote. Finally, here is a radical one, delegates should not be thrown to someone who didn't earn them.

Thanks for reading. Comments are welcomed as always.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Open Letter to the Local GOP

As I mentioned before, I cannot abide the Democrat contenders nor John McCain for President of the US. So, I found this by Paultics on US I believe it will serve as the opening salvo aimed at clearly defining Mr. McCain. I have to add that he has my utmost respect for his military contributions and sacrifices. My opposition stems solely from his actions as an elected official. Feel free to copy and use for yourself.

WHEREAS the Republican Party is founded upon the conservative political philosophy derived from the principle that individuals are endowed not by the government, but by the Creator, with certain unalienable rights; and

WHEREAS the Constitution of the United States is designed to guarantee the unfettered exercise of those rights by strictly limiting the power of government, whose authority is derived only from the consent of the governed; and

WHEREAS the Principles of Conservatism promote Liberty, Prosperity, and Individual Freedom; and

WHEREAS the leading presidential candidate for the Republican Party, Senator John McCain, has consistently demonstrated a record of public service counter to the philosophy and principles of conservatism and the Republican Party as evidenced by the following facts:

1. He has a consistent pattern of shocking verbal abuse, including screaming profanities, against Senate Republican colleagues who oppose his bills in any way; and

2. He has exercised scandalously poor judgment by intervening with the federal regulators on behalf of Charles H. Keating, Jr. in the Savings and Loan Crisis of the 1980s; and

3. He has worked against the principles of the Republican Party, promoting greatly expanding federal regulatory authority in order to combat global warming in ways that would greatly burden the American economy, contrary to free market forces; and

4. He has fought the Republican Party to create the Patients Bill of Rights, which allowed the government to impose a set of burdensome mandates on insurance coverage; and

5. He has undermined the principles of a free market economy by voting for an amendment that would authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to implement price controls on prescription drugs under Medicare; and

6. He has worked against the Republican Party to make a mockery of the rule of law, promoting amnesty for 20 million illegal immigrants; and

7. He has voted to subvert American Sovereignty by granting consulting rights to Mexico concerning the erection of a southern border fence; and

8. He has undermined the Constitution and opposed the Constitutional duties of the Vice President to break a tie on judicial nominations; and

9. He has worked against Conservative principles, undermining the First Amendment by abridging the free speech of citizens partaking in the political process; and

10. He has consistently led efforts undermining Second Amendment rights by promoting bills which regulate all sales at gun shows; regulations which force gun-owners to purchase trigger locks, making their firearms useless for self-defense; regulations which restrict the legitimate transfer of firearms over the Internet; and regulations which extend the restrictions of the Brady bill to pawn shops and gun repair shops; and

11. He has voted to use taxpayer funds to harvest stem cells from human embryos; and

12. He has refused to take immediate and direct action to protect the life of the unborn; he opposes the repeal of Roe v. Wade; and he opposes a constitutional amendment to protect all human life; and

13. He sponsored and voted for a 282% tax increase on cigarettes that would have unconstitutionally violated the First Amendment and increased the size of the federal bureaucracy exponentially by giving the FDA unrestricted control over nicotine; and

14. He supports raising Social Security taxes; and

15. He has broken with the Republican Party in strongly opposing President Bush's tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. He also joined leading liberal senators in offering and voting for amendments designed to undermine the tax cuts,

THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED that I, (name), as a registered Republican voter, oppose any effort to promote, support, or endorse Senator John McCain as the Republican nominee; and

LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED that I, (name), as a registered Republican voter, will only support candidates who promote the philosophy and principles of conservatism in government; who promote smaller government, fiscal discipline, and greater economic and personal freedoms; and whose records of public service are evidence of their principled beliefs.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Walking the Walk

Mitt Romney has fallen on his sword for the good of the party. On the radio the pundits were all effusive in thier praise of Romneys speech as he essentially admitted defeat. I hope that he was telling the truth and his stepping down was a matter of principles. If not it will just make him the latest and highest profile of the crop of "make the best of it" GOP partisans.

Don't get me wrong, I understand that the folks arguing that we should hold our nose and vote for McCain are being realists. The pragmatic, strategic, move would be to do just that. But, why?

Is it true that McCain is more "conservative" than Obama or Clinton? Yeah. Not by much from what I can see, but yeah he is. The problem I have is that basically people are calling for everyone to compromise principle and vote McCain because "the Party" needs us to be united against the Democrats.

Others will tell us that we can elect congressmen who will keep McCain in check. Bunk, we didn't do it before, and I don't believe we will do it now. I am certain that those folks mean well. I am certain they are good people trying to make the best of a bad situation. I don't mean any disrespect at all towards them or their ideas. The problem is that it is, to me at least, a defensive position.

Instead I will propose that we take thier idea and run with it. Call and write your Congress Members and tell them that if they don't get with the program you will not only not vote for em, you will actively work against them.

If you have a primary coming up, vote your conscience. In my case that means I will vote for Ron Paul since he is the only one in my opinion that truly values our Constitution. I don't agree with everything he says, but I believe that he is not one to compromise principles that are rooted in the Constitution. And that is what this country needs far more than any one individual. I doubt he will win, but I will be able to live with myself the next day.

If you hold your nose with one hand, and vote with the other; Which hand is holding onto your principles? If you suborn your personal integrity for the sake of "the party" how will you look in the mirror?

Hopefully a combination of low turnout, or massive write ins will send a message to one of the parties. Hopefully they will understand that business as usual will not work.

Better to go down fighting for your beliefs than to stand bowed by the loss of your convictions and principles.