Regular people have obligations- and cannot usually just take off on a trip, and in many cases cannot choose when they can do so. In short, regular people generally don’t go to conventions. Closed primary systems screen out Democrats from selecting Republican candidates, and will have the further advantage of suppressing GOP-e left-wingers. Having all the states have their closed primaries on the same day will give those of us in conservative states a real voice in selecting the candidate instead of having to rubber-stamp some northeastern gungrabbing liberal.
The primary being discussed here is for state offices, i.e., Governor, Lt. Gov. and AG. Next year in VA there will be a contest between the current Lt Gov and the current AG to run for Gov. So the argument is = do we nominate our GOP candidate for Governor of VA in ‘13 through a primary or convention system? One state office, one party.
VA doesn’t have a closed primary. No registration by party. Last March I worked as an election official at the Republican-only presidential primary, and saw voters in that one-party primary exit the polling place, and get into their cars with Obama/Kaine/Moran/Visualize Peace bumper stickers. Yep .. expanding participation, that’s the ticket!
Back in the early 90s, as ‘regular people,’ we went to Richmond for two conventions. Both were packed, literally to the rafters, with ‘regular people.’ It’s quite possible to be both ‘regular people’ and politically engaged.
There is plenty of notice - months - so alternate plans can be made to one’s normal Saturday obligations. Cost was all of $15 to register. Charter buses are available. Maybe voting should be made more difficult, more of a commitment, than it’s become in recent years.
The one exception is, in fact, military. But, let’s be honest here: How many military request and return their ballots, especially for a primary? Most military are not willing to request a Republican or a Democrat ballot, which they must do to vote in a primary.
To run a primary costs the taxpayers. Every polling place is staffed with an average of 6 election officials. Not much money for each official but overall the cost is high when you factor in the number of polling places (2500 +/-) statewide. The various electoral boards are also staffed; there are printing and personnel costs. All this for what % of people who actually vote? In March, 265,570 voted statewide in the Republican presidential primary. Granted those were unique circumstances in ‘12, but in ‘08 with 6 on the ballot and no controversy the GOP turnout was only 489,152.
Huh? What are you talking about?
To participate in the convention system, you do not have to “take off on a trip”.
In the Convention System regular people are fully represented by the delegates they elect to represent them at the conventions. There is no “trip” necessary.
The “closed primaries” voting rules do nothing to correct the failures of the “primary system” I described in my post. Primaries are what prevent the voices of regular people from being heard and have proven to be of such great harm to the party and convention system that we should do away with them.
It is hard to believe anyone is so naive that they actually believe primary elections of any kind give them a “real voice”. What they do give you is the ILLUSION of having a “real voice”.