Utah People's Party

…proclain liberty through out all the land….(Leviticus 25:10)

Delegates

This page argues among other things that the quality of the decisions made at a meeting can be improved by reducing the number of people participating in the meeting and that large political parties should make their most important decisions at conventions of delegates not meetings of the party members. Traditional parties have Conventions thus indicating that they at least sort of understand but them they forget the point and elect so many delegates that their meetings are still too large to deliberate properly. Then they compound their problem further by adding some appointed delegates and super delegates. In contrast, the People’s Party can remember and apply the words of James Madison, that he wrote in response to those Citizens who during the debate over the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, argued for a larger U.S. House of Representatives so that each Congressman could have fewer constituents. Historians call James Madison, “the Father of the Constitution.”

In all legislative assemblies, the greater the number composing them may be, the fewer will be the men who actually direct the proceedings.  The larger the number, the greater will be the proportion of members of limited information and weak capacities. Now it is precisely on characters of this description that the eloquence and address of the few are know to act with all their force. In ancient republics where the whole body of the people assembled in person, a single orator, or an artful statesman, was generally seen to rule with as complete a sway as if a scepter had been placed in his single hand. On the same principle, the more multitudinous a representative assembly may be rendered, the more it will partake of the infirmities incident to collective meetings of the people. … The countenance of the government may become more democratic but the soul that animates it will be more oligarchic. (Federalist 58)

Note Madison’s use of the word “oligarchic.” An oligarchy is a political system in which a small group of elites has the political power, excluding most of the populous from any important role in the governance of their society. Now we turn to Doctor Thomas Pangle of the University of Texas at Austin for some comments on these teachings of James Madison.

…Madison begins to point out that there are grave problems involved in having a House of Representative composed of a much larger number than just a few hundred, because then the house itself would begin to take on the qualities of a mob, such as is always seen in large assemblies and such as blighted the civic life of ancient democracies such as the Athenian. In one of his most eloquent sentences, Madison writes,” In all very numerous assemblies, of whatever characters composed, passion never fails to wrest the scepter from reason. Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.” (Thomas Pangle, The Great Debate: Advocates and Opponents of the American Constitution, lecture transcript, p 131 – 132)

We can certainly forgive Doctor Pangle for saying “…one of his [Madison’s] most eloquent sentences” and then quoting two eloquent sentences. Doctor Pangle continues.

The mob characteristics of a large assembly would be by no means the only problem with a large house. Paradoxically, Madison argues that a very large house would be more likely to produce precisely the oligarchic tendencies that the Anti-Federalists are so worried about. Because in paper 58, Madison points out that, in a large house you are likely to get the prevalence of demagogues within the house. … (Thomas Pangle, The Great Debate: Advocates and Opponents of the American Constitution, lecturn transcript, p 132)

As mentioned elsewhere, most of this website does not describe the People’s Party as it already is but rather as it can be, should be and will be. If your wish the party to nominate candidates for more offices and for those candidates to receive more votes on election day, then get involved. Our Heavenly Father will grant us the victories described on the Victory Page when we citizens are worthy of those victories because of our dutiful activity. Will our Lord say “well done thou good and faithful servant” to you and to others or only to others?

The Party will grow with or without you, but it will grow more quickly with you. Oh citizen, the party provides the vehicle for you to do your duties to the most helpful possible affect, but that vehicle is like a row-boat. For the vehicle to move, someone must first get in and then must work.

The following discussion of conventions and delegates looks to a more distant future than any other part of the Website. After some years being on the ballot, the Party will have so many active members that having us all deliberate in one place as described on the Meetings Page will not longer be feasible.
The major parties already have too many participants for all to meet and select their candidates in person. We do not complain that they make their most important decisions at conventions not party member meetings, because we will eventually do the same, but traditional political parties leave so much room for improvement in how they prepare for and conduce conventions that we feel we must discuss our vision for conventions that will much more effectively allow the good citizens to hold the political elite accountable for their conduct in office, and elevate only the best citizens to politically elite positions. Good citizens are those who volunteer their time to do the duties that Latter Day prophets instruct them to do.

Eventually, State level Conventions will replace some and then later all the state level once-every-three-mouths party member meetings as the way for the state level Party to make decisions. Many principles discussed on other pages of this site will help us have better conventions than other parties do. For example, the Officers Page explains the importance of having a party officer who conducts deliberative meetings while acting in good faith as a neutral referee and how the People’s Party will consistently secure this neutrality better than other political parties do. All of that discussion applies to our future conventions. Every thing on this site that applies to party member meetings, also applies to conventions except who will attend and vote. At party member meetings, any or all the party members may attend and vote in person, but at conventions, delegates attend and vote on behave of the party members whom they represent. The Convention that best represents the party members must consist of delegates who represent the party members as well and as completely as possible. Therefore the rest of this page discusses the delegates who will attend our conventions and this page is called the Delegates Page.
First we mention some things traditional Political Parties have done that prevent their delegates from representing their party members as well and as completely as possible and then we will explain how the People’s Party will do better. In the past, other parties have

  • allowed party leaders and incumbent government officials to attend conventions and vote without being elected as delegates, those who have this privilege often being called “super delegates.”
  • allowed party leaders to appoint delegates to fill vacant delegate positions.
  • allowed delegates to vote by secret ballot thus hiding the stands they take from their constituents.
  • elected one or two delegates per precinct causing some delegates to represent a handful of party members while others represent hundreds of party members.
  • held conventions with so many delegates that they could not engage in effective deliberation.

We mention elsewhere that a political party is not worthy of the support of active, dutiful citizens if it does not allow its active party members the greatest possible ability to hold the elites accountable. All of the above practices can help the elites resist the will of the party members. Therefore all are problems to be solved.

Lets imagine a scenario. A person has been in a public office for a while but his performance disappoints the majority of the party members. The office holder seeks reelection, but the majority of the party members want to lend the party’s ballot line to a different candidate next time. As the candidate nominating convention approaches, the party members choose their delegates. In a traditional party, the incumbent office holder would be quarantined the privileged of being a delegate and thus voting at the convention even if it would be impossible for him to win election as a delegate. In the People’s Party, the incumbent will get no such privilege. In which party does the incumbent have a better chance of defeating the will of the party member majority and leaving the convention with the Party’s ballot line?
Next scenario. Some party leaders have disappointed the majority of the party members, who now want to replace them. The convention approaches and the party members elect their delegates. In a traditional party, the leaders have often been permitted to appoint delegates to fill empty delegate slots. In the People’s Party, the leaders will have no such authority. In which party are the leaders more likely to defeat the opposition and stay in office?

As citizens, Party Members have a duty to see to it that they are well represented. How can they know for a particular convention, if they should choose different delegates when they cannot find out what their delegates stood for the last time they elected delegates? A delegate who votes by secret ballot is a delegate who cannot be held accountable for his actions. Also, if a delegate is a fantastic citizen, very diligent in finding out what is right and doing it, then it is desirable that party members who have wrong opinions on important issues, know what and whom the delegate voted for. A wise and righteous delegate, questioned, or challenged by a foolish or selfish party member, will have a great opportunity to educate that party member. That will be healthy relationship between a leader and a follower as we discusses on the our page entitled Healthy Relationships.

Choosing one or two delegates per precinct is a simple way for a large party to choose a large number of delegates, but it is not a fair way to represent the party members. If one precinct has five party members and another has five hundred party members, how is it fair that they both get one delegate? Even if the first gets one delegate and the second gets two, that is still a very uneven ratio of party members to delegates. Is a precinct a child of God? Does a precinct have rights given to it by the Supreme Being? Allocating delegates to precincts with few or even no party members is one of the primary means be which party leaders make sure that there will be many delegate positions that go unfilled by party members. Crafty party leaders allocate delegate positions party members are unlikely to fill because it gives them an excuse to appoint delegates to fill the “vacancies.”

As state above, the reason to change from party members meetings to meetings of delegates that represent the party members is to keep the attendance at meetings small enough that effective deliberation can occur. By not having super delegates and appointed delegates, the People’s Party makes progress on getting the total number of delegates down to a workable level but even more reduction will be needed. The People’s Party will not reserve one delegate position to each precinct no matter how few party members live in that precinct. The number of precincts in Utah exceeds two thousand. A Convention with two thousand delegates is too large to deliberated effectively.

A Statement of Intent Regarding State Delegates

When the state assembly of party members shall be of so great a size that true deliberation at meetings becomes difficult, conventions will make decisions for the state party not party member meetings. A convention is a meeting or assembly of delegates elected by party members.

  • For any particular convention, the party members shall elect no more than 250 delegates.
  • party members shall elect each and every delegate. No delegate shall be appointed by any officer, committee, board, etc.
  • when party members elect their delegates, they may also elect Alternates who may replace delegates who do not attend the convention. Each delegate has the same rank as every other delegate, but each Alternate shall be elected to a specific place in a list of Alternates, first alternate to replace the first delegate who does not attend the convention, second alternate to replace the second missing delegate and so on.
  • Each delegate shall be elected specifically to the office of delegate or shall be elected specifically to the office of alternate and then promoted to replace a missing delegate. No person shall ever be a delegate as a result of election or appointment to any office other than that of delegate or alternate.
  • A delegation is the set of delegates elected by one group of party members. A delegation is complete when it has as many delegates as the quota the group of party members was invited to fill. When a group of party members elects its delegates, that group may also elect a list of alternates. The alternates elected by one group of party members are alternates for the specific delegation that group of party members sends to the convention and not for any other delegation.
  • Unfilled delegate slots may be filled by duly elected alternates only. Unfilled delegate slots shall not be filled otherwise. If all the alternates associated with a delegation have been promoted to delegate status, but the delegation is still incomplete, the delegation shall remain incomplete and the Convention shall do business.
  • At a convention only Delegates may vote.
  • At Conventions all voting shall be done in a way that allows party members to know what the delegates who represent them voted for.

Delegate Selection Procedure
To select delegates, the following procedure shall be followed as closely as practicable.

  • The state level party shall decide how many delegates total shall be elected. Then the total number of party members in the state shall be divided by the total number of delegates to be elected. The resulting quotient shall be the party members to delegates ratio.
  • The state level party shall assign to each of its local affiliates a quota of delegates that the local affiliate is allowed to elect, which quota shall be calculated using the party members to delegates ratio calculated above.
  • Each local affiliate, may use all of its party members as one group to elect delegates or may divide its members into groups that meet separately, each such group electing a portion of the delegates allocated to the whole local affiliate. Each such group shall have the same ratio of party members to delegates, the ratio calculated above. Each Local Affiliate may divide its members into whatever groups the Local Affiliate wishes.
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