A Flawed Primary System

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Mitt Romney in Craig on Tuesday (credit: CBS)

Mitt Romney in Craig on Tuesday (credit: CBS)

Written by Dominic Dezzutti

Mitt Romney officially won enough primary delegates on Tuesday to become the 2012 Republican Presidential Nominee. His official coronation occurring in the last week of May also shows how flawed the overly lengthy and irrelevant primary system is.

Mitt Romney was in a very competitive primary race over the last six months. Many different candidates temporarily took the frontrunner status away from Romney throughout the race. Romney didn’t have the nomination locked up until April. Yet, even though it was a competitive and long race, it didn’t become official for two more months.

In fact, there are still many states that have yet to even vote in a primary this year.

The question that comes to my mind is that do Americans really care that this system is so incredibly flawed, robbing many Americans of any voice in choosing the people who will run for President. Frankly, I don’t think they do, but that collective apathy surprises me.

Usually, Americans are very concerned over people having a voice and keeping a fair election system. That same theory has been used to rationalize our involvement in conflicts all over the world, helping to guarantee that others would be able to have their voice heard in a fair election.

But when it comes to selecting the top two choices to become the most powerful leader in the world, we seem to be perfectly satisfied with the states of Iowa and New Hampshire winnowing the race down to just a handful of competitors. We also seem to perfectly happy to see the remaining handful of candidates then stretch out the race over many months, stopping in important states like South Carolina, but not getting to insignificant states like California and New York.

Yes, I know that California and New York hold primaries, but wouldn’t it seem that important states that actually help to dictate many issues throughout the country actually chime in on our most important political selection process before the state of Alabama does. Nothing against Alabama, but I think you get my point.

I think the main reason that the primary system is a flawed one is because it is one of the few political institutions in this country with no input from the forefathers who crafted our constitution. No, political parties are the designers of this mess and it shows. Yes, the government does its part to legitimize the system, but it was created and designed by the parties and that explains everything.

I don’t have a better plan, but if our nation could put a man on the moon over forty years ago, I am confident that we have the brainpower to arrive at a solution to this problem. But, like every American problem, it will only be solved if we have the will.

If we are okay with Iowa and South Carolina having more to say about whom we vote for President, then the system will not change. If we are okay with an interminable primary season that still doesn’t include a major portion of the nation’s voters, then it will not change.

Still, seeing Mitt Romney finally making it official a full two months after the rest of us already knew makes me hopeful that someday the system will change.
About The Blogger

- Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti also produces the Emmy winning Colorado Inside Out, hosted by Raj Chohan, on Colorado Public Television.

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