Which States, What Schedule
The Issues / The Principles
A. The "Weeding Out" States
It is impractical for a dozen Presidential candidates to spend significant time in all 50 states. Therefore, the concept of having a few "weeding out" states can be good.
However, which states should be the ones to have the honor of being those states?
How can we ensure that those weeding out states are representative of the nation?
B. The Schedule of Primaries
Then we have the series of primaries for all the other states.
Who gets to have their primaries first? Which states are in effect choosing the candidates before the others?
C. The Real Competition Going on Today
There is a real competition among some of the states today. States are competing to have their primaries before other states.
The competition has been going on as follows: State 1 moves its primary date earlier than others. Then state 2 moves its primary date before the new date set by State 1. Then State 1 goes back again, moving its date even earlier still.
Furthermore, this doesn't just happen with one state, but is a game being played by several states at the same time.
The main bad result is that the weeding out primaries will be held far too early. This results in the following problems:
1. A primary which is held too early means that the candidates have not had time to properly present themselves to the citizens in each of those states. In effect, this is uninformed voting.
If the primary is held too early, the result will be voting before the full discussion has taken place. For the President of the United States, we need time to look at all the candidates. In particular, the "weeding out" primaries must not be held too early.
2. The General Election cycle will be extended too far.
How long should the general election cycle be? Yes, we need enough time for the candidates to present themselves to citizens throughout the nation. However, if the primaries are held too early, then the general election cycle time will be longer than needed. Americans will have made up their minds, and after that become tired of hearing anymore.
1. Weeding out states are necessary for the logistics of a Presidential Primary.
2. Weeding out states must be representative of the nation as a whole.
3. The status of a weeding out state has several significant benefits, therefore these states must offer some concessions to the other states in the nation.
4. States must work together on the schedule of primaries, for the good of the nation, and yet maintain their own rights as fully independent entities.
5. Any plan for primaries throughout the nation must seek what is best for:
a) The people of the state of that primary
b) The people of other states in the nation, and
c) The presidential candidates
6. The specific arrangements will be made in the form a gentleman's agreement, among the party leaders of each state working together.
I have been developing a plan to make workable political primary system.
In this section I will lay out the basics of the plan. In subsequent pages I will describe the details of the plan.
Note that when I use the word "state" I am often referring to the political party of that state.
1. The nation will be divided into 7 regions.
2. Each region will have 1 weeding out state.
a) This weeding out state will be somewhat representative of the states in the region.
b) All weeding out states have equal value.
c) The weeding out state can either be:
1. fixed as the same state for each election, or
2. cycled among various states in the region.
It will be up to the party leaders of the region to decide how they want to do this.
d) Each weeding out state will offer some concessions to the other states in the region, for the privilege of being the weeding out state.
3. All seven weeding out states will have their primaries before any other state in the nation.
4. It will be understood that no presidential candidate will be considered out of the race until after the results of all seven weeding out primaries.
a) All weeding out states have equal value. It does not matter which weeding out state has its primary first, because each of these states have equal status.
Remember, each weeding out state represents a region of the nation. Therefore, a candidate must see how well he does in each of the seven regions before considering whether to continue or to drop out.
b) Any candidate who gets in the top 3 positions, after any of the seven weeding out primaries, will be considered a viable candidate for all the primaries in all the other states.
c) Any candidate who fails to be voted into the top 3 positions of any of the seven weeding out primaries should realize that he will probably not be a viable candidate, and should drop out of the race.
5. After the seven weeding out primaries have taken place, then the primaries in the other states can take place.
a) At this point there should be only 3-5 candidates entering each primary. As primaries continue, the number will likely drop to 3 candidates maximum.
b) With every remaining state having 3 candidates to choose from, the primary elections will be cleaner and more focused.
c) When all the remaining states have had their primaries, a clear winner will have been elected.
6. Concessions of the weeding out states to the other states in the region:
The other states in the region will allow the one state to have the privilege of being the weeding out state. However, in return for this privilege, the other states will get some things in return.,
a) The regional states will be allowed to advise the weeding out state on which date the primary should be held.
b) The regional states will be allowed to extra media access to candidates and political events in the weeding out state. (This will be on behalf of the citizens in the neighboring states).
c) The regional states will be allowed to suggest questions and issues posed to the candidates. (This will be on behalf of the citizens in the neighboring states).
7. The agreement will be a non-binding gentleman's agreement, put into writing, among the states of the region.
a) The agreement will be made among the party leaders of each state (such as party chairmen) in each of the seven regions.
b) The agreement will not be made by any state governments or by the federal government. Nor will the national chairman be part of any agreement.
c) The agreement will be non-binding. There will be no enforcement provisions. (This will ensure that each state retains its own independence). However, it will be a gentleman's agreement, where a promise is made; integrity and trust are central; and a broken promise will lead to more difficult relationships later.
d) The agreement will be in writing. This is to remind everyone what was agreed to. It will also ensure that all members of the party in that state can read it, refer to it, and follow it, for each presidential election.
Go to Page 2 of the Political Primaries Plan: The Seven Regions