Thursday, January 18, 2007


For some time now, we've heard from party officials and others in a number of states, including Florida, that they feel ignored and that their voters have little real voice in who their party's presidential nominee will be because their preference primary is scheduled so late in the season. There have been efforts by some states to move their primary earlier, but this trend toward "frontloading" is being seen with disdain especially at the national Democratic Party level, with officials going so far as to threaten the seating of the delegation of any state which does so.

So, how would you resolve this issue in a way that gives states a more even hand that they have now, while keeping the primary process relevant? I believe a one-day national primary is going too far, so...

I would have a series of regional primaries based on geography, scheduled over a period between mid-January and mid-May. The primaries would be scheduled three weeks apart from each other, and each primary would be held in between five to eight neighbouring states. In addition to making it easier for candidates to schedule events within the primary region and travel, this idea would also allow them to focus on issues of specific importance to voters in the area.

The primary system would be based on a rotating schedule, in which the region that holds the earliest primary one election cycle would host the latest the next time around. That way, no state or region would hold a monopoly on who's first.

Needless to say, an idea like this may never get off the ground. It would take a great deal of work from many people; officials from both major politicial parties, state elections officials, among others. But I believe it's an idea that should be considered.

Here would be my example for 2008:

January 15: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York

February 5: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Deleware, District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky

February 26: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi

March 18: Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri

April 8: Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming

April 29: North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Alaska

May 20: New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Hawaii

So...what do you think?


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