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Please, One National Primary!
by Pat Ostrye
By the time this is in print we will know pretty much who the final candidates for the 2008 Presidency will be. We've been at this now for over two years, with nine months to go. Last Tuesday was definitely the collective Primary of the century. This is not a new thought, but if there can be a "national" Primary for 22 states all at one time, why not for 50? Aside from one-upsmanship, what kind of rationale is it to have caucuses at all? It seems to me that caucuses were what took place at the conventions where all factions are making their decisions and then presenting their causes and candidates for scrutiny to the entire assembly of delegates.
Besides, caucuses defeat their own purpose when, because of varied working hours, only a select few are available during the three or so hours allowed behind those closed doors. Whereas, absentee voting plus a range of 12 hours for voting on the specified day of a Primary, accommodates everyone, and it's private, not a matter of counting hands. So Iowa, New Hampshire and Florida won't like it, so what. Forty-seven other states are worth considering, plus the national electorate in general.
First of all, think of the saving in money. How ridiculous to waste millions on something like this, on top of a trillion on Iraq which does nothing for the U.S. I believe it is England that allows only six months or less for any campaign. We could allow one year all told. Have the one Primary in June, followed by the parties' conventions to designate the final candidates, giving the campaigns until November to do their thing. No matter what, I cannot see any logical reason for what has been going on this time around.
And debates! Why on earth do we need two a week for two years? What can they possibly say that can't be said in about six all told? Even that is too many. Now, absentee voting! When I was Monrovia City Clerk, the San Diego City Clerk and I were the only ones pushing for absentee voting, period! No searching for polling places, no hiring and training of at least six people for each polling place, then having the booths delivered from the county, and getting them set up, hopefully on time, plus figuring where each voter will vote. A few more clerks in the Registrar's office would be the only expense. Why not? Oregon has done it for years. Every registered voter receives a ballot that can then be mailed or deposited in various designated "mail boxes" around town, during a specified time frame. What are the other states waiting for?!
Please, someone out there, do something!! This method of selecting our public officials is for the birds!!
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