All Things Considered, August 22, 2007 · More people are declaring that the system of nominating a U.S. presidential candidate is broken.
Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson talks with Melissa Block about the idea of rotating regional primaries for presidential elections. And Rob Richie of Fairvote talks with Block about an idea known as the American Plan.
See if the following exchange about the National Association of Secretaries of State's Rotating Regional Plan for presidential primaries makes sense to you. The plan would allow one-quarter of the country to vote a month ahead of the other three-quarters:
Melissa Block: You'd have a chance at the front every 16 years.
Trey Grayson: Every 16 years.
Melissa Block: But wouldn't that pretty much disenfranchise huge chunks of the country for those off-years when they're not at the front of the pack?
Trey Grayson: It could, but those huge chunks of the country are already disenfranchised right now. If you're not on February 5 or earlier this time... our votes are absolutely meaningless. And under this plan, it gives all the states the opportunity to at some point be enfranchised and be earlier, and so I think it's a much better system than what we have right now, and it's fair to all the states because they're treated somewhat equally by having that rotating regional system.
So, rotating regional primaries are fair to all states by equally screwing their voters in 12 out of every 16 years. Sure, "it's a much better system than what we have right now," but that's not saying a lot. The only way the Rotating Regional Plan looks good is by comparing it with what everyone acknowledges as being a disaster. It's like saying that the Hindenberg was better than the Titanic because it killed fewer people. Tickets, please....
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