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The Lounge => Media and Inspiration => Topic started by: Serious Paul on March 24, 2008, 03:38:30 PM

Title: [United States]Unified Primaries?
Post by: Serious Paul on March 24, 2008, 03:38:30 PM
With all of the hubbub about the primaries, and people moving them all over the place to upstage each other, and etc...I saw a random live journal entry from some dude who was pushing for a Unified Primary, nation wide for both parties. One day. Or one week, or whatever-but a set period of time, that happens once. And then it's all over.

To me, at first glance, this seems like a neat idea. What do you think? What are the ups? What are the downs?
Title: [United States]Unified Primaries?
Post by: James J Skach on March 24, 2008, 03:55:14 PM
Quote from: Serious Paul
With all of the hubbub about the primaries, and people moving them all over the place to upstage each other, and etc...I saw a random live journal entry from some dude who was pushing for a Unified Primary, nation wide for both parties. One day. Or one week, or whatever-but a set period of time, that happens once. And then it's all over.

To me, at first glance, this seems like a neat idea. What do you think? What are the ups? What are the downs?

My first question would be....why? I'm sorry Florida and your state (and my Mother's) got the shaft, but...

To me it's a bit like the call to do away with the electoral college - people are so ready and willing to rush to a unified government. I think they are mistaken. So every time one of these comes up, I flinch, a bit.

Plus, I think this primary season shows that while it might not be good to start to early, it does some good to let the candidates have to hold up over a bit longer period.

One last thought - if you were a candidate, and all the primaries were held on one day, or even over a couple, where you spend your time and resources? The answer is a perfect reason not to do this...
Title: [United States]Unified Primaries?
Post by: gleichman on March 24, 2008, 04:01:35 PM
The point of the primaries and cacuses being spread out as they are is to vent the various candidates and see how they function on the campaign trail

In short, to shake out the closet and kick the tires to determine if this is really the person your party is wanting to send into the general election or just a flash in the pan.
Title: [United States]Unified Primaries?
Post by: Arminius on March 24, 2008, 04:54:04 PM
Also to serve as a winnowing process, given that ranked preference voting systems still haven't caught on in the US.

I.e., if you had national primaries, you'd have to start worrying even more about candidates with similar (but majority) views splitting the vote, leaving an extreme candidate to pick up the nomination with a plurality. If that started happening, people would want to run pre-primary straw polls and the like, which would just add another layer to the process.
Title: [United States]Unified Primaries?
Post by: Serious Paul on March 24, 2008, 09:00:52 PM
Quote from: James J Skach
My first question would be....why?


I'm not sure, which is why I am asking. Like I said above at first glance it seems to be something desirable, but I admit to not having put a lot of thought into this.

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I'm sorry Florida and your state (and my Mother's) got the shaft, but...


Meh, it happens every election-something new is fucked up. As a Michigan Resident I am actually less miffed than most people, but that's in part because I vote Libertarian, and skip the primaries anyways. (Since in Michigan they require that you declare a party affiliation, and I have none, I also skip the primaries.

I can empathize with the people upset over the primaries, but to me it's not the straw that broke the camels back.

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To me it's a bit like the call to do away with the electoral college - people are so ready and willing to rush to a unified government. I think they are mistaken. So every time one of these comes up, I flinch, a bit.


I want to go on record as saying that I am not for, or looking to create a Unified Government-however I absolutely support knee capping the political parties (Specifically the Republicans and Democrats) who have an unhealthy control of the way our government works, and how.

I'd like more variety, and better candidates. The process we have is flawed-which is why I am willing to look at other things, but I am not calling for any immediate changes. I'd settle for reasoned change, but am certainly not expecting any.

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Plus, I think this primary season shows that while it might not be good to start to early, it does some good to let the candidates have to hold up over a bit longer period.


This certainly has merit.

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One last thought - if you were a candidate, and all the primaries were held on one day, or even over a couple, where you spend your time and resources? The answer is a perfect reason not to do this...


That seems like a perfect reason to have a Unified Primary, to make the Candidates stand on merit, because they can't be everywhere at once. Yeah can ignore the small states, but do so at your own risk.
Title: [United States]Unified Primaries?
Post by: Serious Paul on March 24, 2008, 09:03:51 PM
Quote from: gleichman
The point of the primaries and caucuses being spread out as they are is to vent the various candidates and see how they function on the campaign trail


Well this makes sense, but would that really change? Part of why I am wondering if a Unified Primary would even be worth it is wouldn't it just shift the Campaign season back a little?

Quote from: Elliot Wilen
Also to serve as a winnowing process, given that ranked preference voting systems still haven't caught on in the US.

I.e., if you had national primaries, you'd have to start worrying even more about candidates with similar (but majority) views splitting the vote, leaving an extreme candidate to pick up the nomination with a plurality. If that started happening, people would want to run pre-primary straw polls and the like, which would just add another layer to the process.



Hmmm, I hadn't thought about that. Good posts folks, stuff for me to think on.
Title: [United States]Unified Primaries?
Post by: James J Skach on March 24, 2008, 10:15:31 PM
Quote from: Serious Paul
That seems like a perfect reason to have a Unified Primary, to make the Candidates stand on merit, because they can't be everywhere at once. Yeah can ignore the small states, but do so at your own risk.

Except it's been a principle since the founding to balance these things out so that disproportionately sized states are not disproportionately represented.

So it's in the blood, as it were, to do things in such a way as to not provide an inherent opportunity to ignore certain states.
Title: [United States]Unified Primaries?
Post by: RPGPundit on March 25, 2008, 12:00:51 PM
In most countries, this is how it works. You have a single "primary" (or internal party election) for the entire country.  It works that way for Canada (not that all the parties have it on the same day, instead they do it whenever their parties want to change leader, but as far as I know in all of the major parties its a single "convention" where they elect a leader on the floor), and it works that way in Uruguay (where there is actually a day where all the major parties determine their internal leader, if I recall correctly).

RPGPundit