This is part 1 of a 2 part article
See Part 2 here
I just finished reading an article by Oliver DeMille that re-emphasized to me the importance of strengthening communities in this ever increasingly globalized world. This inspired me to write this 2 part blog entry.
I was at a family game night the other night and since my favorite pastime, especially with one of my brothers, is to have political discussions (yes, that probably means I’m mentally ill); he and I were discussing my view of the current party system. Our sister was also joining in on the conversation. All of my brothers and sisters are what I consider to be very intelligent, so that is where I go to seek feedback most often. They give me a variety of viewpoints that help me in my pursuit of truth.
The reason I bring this up is because my brother and sister that were part of the discussion helped me to see a couple of things about how I have been approaching this issue.
First of all, they both helped me realize that in order to have any sort of credibility, I must first do whatever it is that I’m going to do in my own voting precinct. Then as I learn lessons and progress, if I’m successful at accomplishing what I want, I share my experience with others who feel the same way.
Then, my sister suggested that in a local voting precinct, registered voters from all political parties could meet together and vote on who the delegates from each political party would be. This really got me thinking. I really liked that idea at first, but as I considered all the implications I realized that this is not the perfect solution, but it got my thinking on the right track. First of all, the bylaws of the various political parties would almost certainly not allow for delegates to be selected in that manner, and that is probably prudent and wise on their part to protect the interests of the party. My wife also pointed out that this would be extremely open to abuse. A less-than-scrupulous individual could easily get elected as a delegate to sabotage a rival party.
However, I feel that the idea that all registered voters who are willing to participate meet together and influence what happens in their precinct is the right line of thought.
From my research, a precinct size in Utah (where I live) is, by legislation, no larger than 1,250 registered voters. It usually averages about 1,000. The amount of participation in party politics varies from precinct to precinct, but of those registered voters, I would say less than 1% participate in whatever forum their local party structure provides. It is my belief that this is because most registered voters are disenfranchised with the parties and prefer not to associate even with their preferred party. I want to help them feel that their opinion and input matters more than at the ballot box once a year.