Things To Act
Thursday, January 22, 2004
Party Editorials
The presidents of three campus political-party affiliated clubs showcase their insight into the electoral process on today's editorial page. I remain unimpressed.

The Libertarian editorial argues that primaries favor incumbent presidents (which, since the Libertarians have never had one, seems to lead to sour grapes). "The recent caucus in Iowa has simply emphasized the fact that the system of primary elections provides incumbent presidential candidates with a huge advantage." Like in 1976, 1980, 1992, or 2000. Four of the last seven presidential elections have resulted in a switch in party control (thrice defeating an incumbent president), and each featured primaries, usually hotly contested. So much for that thesis. And the article's final paragraph, which seems to imply that a recount in Florida would have given Gore the presidency, is confusing and inexplicable as well.

The Democrat editorial, on the other hand, seems to be trying to encourage civil involvement and campaign finance reform in the same argument. Don't look for a detailed explanation of the logic, as it isn't forthcoming. "We, as citizens and voters, need to continuously demand a system that holds our elected officials more responsible to their voters than to moneyed interests." Strangely, I thought that was why we held elections every two years. Perhaps I'm missing something. "Solutions, such as free and equal advertising time on television stations, have been met with much resistence from the establishment." Probably because these 'solutions' (to a 'problem' not proven to exist) are actually problems in disguise, with many very good reasons not to adopt them. Perhaps the best reason is to note that despite passage of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance 'reform' by the Democrats after years of agitation on the issue, they are immediately simultaneously exploiting loopholes in the law while calling for further 'reforms.' Apparently past success of reform efforts shouldn't be a factor in judging the credibility of the present tribunes for 'reform.'

The Republican editorial, alas, is not quite as easy to mock, though not for lack of trying. The author uses the editorial to call for the abolishment of the Electoral College, for a variety of not terribly persuasive reasons. Strangely, I didn't think that getting rid of the Electoral College was a Republican issue, particularly after 2000, but what the heck. Obviously arguing about tradition Republican virtues like fiscal restraint didn't seem prudent this week, and does Utah really need a lecture about how the Republican Party will someday save Western civilization from moral decay [note the multiple layers of irony in that statement, please]? I suppose if I were to try to defend the Republican Party, I'd have ample reason to be random too.

So does BYU not have a Green Party club? I'm so disappointed.

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