Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Primary Absurdity

Hopefully, I am not the only person that sees all of the flaws that currently exist within our current Presidential Primary System. I can picture a time when our archaic primary system could have been necessary. Years ago, before the aid of optical scanners to automatically count ballots, and only limited ability to get poll totals to the next poll station (via Telegraph or rider). In that day, a tiered voting approach of nominating a presidential candidate made sense. Information didn't move all that fast, and for that matter neither did the candidates. A 100 or so years ago, a candidate campaigning in two (or more) states in one day meant they were on state lines. Hell, by the time a candidate made it to the next primary state (Iowa to N.H, for example), it was time to vote.

However, in "today's age " where a candidate can literally make it to 3 or 4 campaign locations, in different states, on the same day. In a time where campaign squabbles can be read about in the U.K. before lunch, this "tiered" approach only does one thing for the American people: "It ensure Americans choose the candidate(s) we are suppose too." Now, before you start screaming how I've fallen off the rocking horse into conspiracy lunacy, here me out. I'm not saying we no longer choose or vote for the next Nominee, we just vote the way the media tells us too.

While your digesting that, I'll give you an example. If you take a group of 1000 people, place a jar full of marbles on a podium and ask everyone to write down the number of marbles in the jar. On a whole, if participates answered in the blind they will guess correctly more often than if they were showed how their peers were guessing. By showing how people guessed or voted, you can change the outcome of their guess/ vote total(for better or worse).

This is exactly what happens in todays presidential primaries. We know instantly how the polls in New Hampshire closed. Then the media comes out and says: "So & SO gaining momentum in N.M or Iowa,etc Primary watch out for him/her!" Wait, what? How does this give people momentum? So what if New Hampshire thought this guy was better than that guy, different place, different state. However, what we aren't paying attention to is how much our elections are being shaped by the people who are supposed to be brining us the information. The media. Call me stupid, but I thought the job of the media was to bring the American Public an Unbiased report of whats happening. How are they able to keep an Unbiased view when Newspapers and News Stations are ENDORSING CANDIDATES! They endorse candidate A, then for the next x days, weeks, months all they print / talk about is Candidate A. Geee, I wonder why that person is coming up in the polls.
Every time you read / listen to the news all you every here about are the top 2 or 3 candidates of each party. The response of media outlets has always been "Their the front runner, of course we are going to talk and print stories about them."
However, Which is the cause, and which is the effect? (Front runner = More Stores or is it More stores = front runner)??

My whole point in witting all of this, besides ranting, was to say that the tiered primary systems has outlived its usefulness. It is now causing more harm than good. The American public deserves to hear what all of the candidate have to say. After which, the entire country holds a national primary on one day, not over the course of 3 months. I know the politicians will bitch and moan, but what else is new? This would level the playing field, the media will not longer be able to give a candidate "momentum", and the people will ultimately choose the candidate they like best. We could even take it one step further and say that all Mainstream news sources should give each candidate x min per month to come on and be heard, above and beyond all other news stories. What a concept!

1 comment:

Houston said...

I can agree with this. I have been saying the same thing for awhile, abeit, for slightly different reasons. I agree that we have the technology to do it all at once these days, so we should. I also agree with News stations giving candidates a certain amount of air time above important stories because they are supposed to be unbiased, and that way how much money is backing their campaign might also be stunted a bit and focus would remain on the candidates. I am not saying candidates can't spend money on their campaign, but if you only have so much air time, you might spend a bit more letting people know what your policies are and less about slamming the others,or you may choose to waste peoples time and do the opposite.
Sadly, I doubt that would make people any more informed. It seems everyone is so caught up in the first woman/black man, war in Iraq, etc... that alot of people aren't focusing on their other big important factors like economic policies, foreign relations, gun control, etc... For now, I will just try not to let myself be swayed by what everyone else is doing.