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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Editorials: No democracy in Utah ...

Above: Leonard Cohen says, "Democracy is coming to the USA." (He doesn't mention Utah.)

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- The 0.2 percent: System denies Utahns their voice - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

The voters of Utah have many choices before them this year. They will be electing a governor, a U.S. senator, four — count them, four — members of the U.S. House of Representatives, an attorney general and most of the state Legislature.

Wait. Did we say "the voters" will be making these choices? Sorry. Not really. Never mind.

For all practical purposes, the vast majority of those decisions will be made by a tiny minority of the state’s voters.

The Republican State Convention, Saturday at South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy, will count only the votes of the 4,000 duly elected delegates. Only they, chosen last month in the party’s precinct caucuses, will have a say in winnowing fields that include a handful of candidates down to one or two individuals. ...

- Conventions tickle insiders, but they aren’t democracy - Tooele Transcript Bulletin Editorial

... The private parties for delegates will really ratchet up this week with the Republican Party’s state convention set for Saturday. There will be plenty to eat and drink. People will ask questions about important issues affecting them, and they will often get substantive answers. Promises will be made.

There’s only one problem: You won’t be there. In fact, you weren’t invited. That level of democracy is reserved for delegates, and after all, you’re just a voter.

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- School board sham: Time to end undemocratic process - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

The superfluous State Board of Education nominating committee is nothing but an extraneous barrier between Utah voters and the people who want to represent them on the state board.

The fact that the committee has decided to take out of the hands of voters the decision of whether to re-elect incumbent board members is clear evidence that this undemocratic process should be shelved. A direct, nonpartisan election should take its place....



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