I would like to take a break from the usual back and forth bickering here to pose a question
Last edited Thu Feb 4, 2016, 08:56 PM - Edit history (1)
that was on C-Span this morning. Backbitting about either Dem Candidate need not respond.
C-Span asked the viewers during what appeared to be a later segment this morning, the following question regarding Iowa and New Hampshire being the leading states in the primary:
What would you propose as a change to the current process of allowing Iowa and New Hampshire,two states who don't represent the country's demographics, to go first in the nation?
Most of the callers thought that small monolithic states like Iowa and NH should not get to go first while other states get penalized if they try to move up their elections. Some people called in defending the current process, but others offered proposals like everyone voting the same day, to rotating state primaries. One guy stated rotating the states each presidential primary starting with Alaska and continuing in alphabetical order. When the moderator told him that it would take 200 years to get through all the states, the caller said "I knew it would take a while, but I didn't realize it would take that long." Others though Iowa and NH should remain because it allowed the country watching from outside, to get to know the candidates and it was an affordable way of getting to know the candidates. Most thought the caucus had outlived their usefulness. Campaign financing of all candidates would be wonderful, but the SCOTUS has determined that contributions are free speech.
I hesitated to to offer up my suggestion because I wanted to encourage a discussion rather than attacks on others ideas, so I didn't.
I would however, like to offer up my suggestion about how the primary process is covered. but not necessarily about the primary process itself though, for whatever process was put in place, or should the current process be retained.
That suggestion is: I would make it illegal for any news organizations, political groups, institutions, etc to include private citizens to conduct ANY polls during the entire primary process. No polls of any type of the candidates. My reasoning is twofold. One Polls influence outcomes. First, going back to the beginning of 2015/early spring, I began seeing polls on MSNBC that said simply, "Do you think that Hillary Clinton is Honest and Trustworthy." This at a time when the Congress's polling numbers was at 9%. The poll was repeated about once a month at least, and each time I saw it, the number that though she was not Honest and Trustworthy grew". I never saw a similar poll about the other perspective candidates until long after primary season was under way, and then only one time. I don't doubt that some people actually think that Hillary is not Honest or Trustworthy, but anyone out there who has taken a basic course in human behavior or hasn't studied human behavior would know that if you repeated something often enough, it becomes a fact. This, mind you, was before any of the masses descended on Iowa and NH canvassing voters. Polling influences perceptions. Polling influences votes.
Secondly, the press has given unprecedented coverage to one individual including free media time. Since, I conclude that Polling numbers are influenced by how much coverage individuals get. if any station gives air time to one candidate, they must give that same time to all candidates in an equal time space. Donald Trump can call in on any show at any time and talk for as long as he wants. This is unprecedented. Don't think that future candidates won't have figured out what they need to do or say, what types of antics they must engage in, to get Trump-style coverage in future primaries. The current equal rule time is not adequate because it allows a station to give the reciprocal time space at whatever time that station wants which would be the least watched time slot, probably late on a Saturday night when no one's watching. Please don't waste time debating this, Lawrence O'Donnell explained what the rules are on a show a couple of months ago.
Or let Texas go first (they deserve it) but then it would be one and done for all but the winner.
I am so glad I live in CA and it will all be decided by the time I go to the polls. It is going to be a tough 10 some odd months as it is.
The one thing we need to press for is 100% publicly financed elections. No dark money, no soft money, no PAC's, none of that shit. No opting out. Your run, you get a bankroll. You meet a voting % threshold in each election and you can continue on.
That, and the changing Corporate Personhood laws, and you got fairness. And viable third party candidates. And the $$$ out of politics.
and Pay to Play elections. I'd like to see the media monopolies broken up and the Fairness Doctrine returned.
serve somewhat will as the first caucus and first primary is that they are geographically small, with relatively small populations, so the candidates who choose to go there can speak directly to a lot of the voters.
I can't begin to imagine how you could make all polling illegal. We have this silly First Amendment to our Constitution that would probably need to be repealed for that to happen.
I took a brief look at the Equal Time Rule, and learned that my understanding of it isn't correct. It seems as if it is still in effect, but I'm aware that for all practical purposes it hasn't existed for some years now.
It's my personal opinion that the real problem is that our campaigns go on far too long. Basically, Hillary started running immediately after Obama was sworn in his second time. Fifty years ago, candidates announced in January, or later, of the election year. Of course, back then Iowa and New Hampshire did their thing in March. And most states didn't have primaries or caucuses, and there was a lot of the proverbial smoke-filled back rooms where the wheeling and dealing took place for the candidates to acquire enough delegates to get the nomination.
I'm honestly not so sure that a single national primary day is such a good idea. It would simply be a dress rehearsal for the general election. Or, worse yet, depending on just how delegates were assigned, it might lead to real brokered conventions. Which despite how many people seem to long for one, would be a real nightmare.
It's not that I think we have the best possible system, but it's not entirely clear to me how we can actually change it for the better. Parliamentary systems have such short election seasons simply because they don't have a fixed cycle for the elections, as we do, which is the core of our problem.
Oh, and if Trump really does crash and burn, as at the moment he appears to be doing, then with any luck at all the lesson future potential candidates will take away is not to be an asshole. Can't trust that anyone will, alas.