Friday, September 14, 2007

Parties need to reform presidential primaries

Observer & Eccentric Newspapers, Mirror Newspapers and Hometown Weeklies Michigan

Michigan has taken a prominent role in the presidential primary leap-frog game. Last week, Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed a bill moving Michigan's primary to Jan. 15, in defiance of Republican and Democratic party threats to not seat delegates selected before Feb. 5 and a pledge by leading Democratic candidates to not campaign in the state.

For many years, the presidential chase for delegates has begun with caucuses in Iowa and a primary in New Hampshire. Leaders in big, industrial, urban states like Michigan have long complained that small, rural Iowa and New Hampshire do not reflect the majority of American voters. They have argued that by the time more representative states actually vote, a decision has already been made.

The Democrats tried a mild reform by adding Nevada and South Carolina into the mix. But New Hampshire was miffed that the Nevada caucus was scheduled to precede the New Hampshire primary and vowed to move its date back to retain its traditional role.


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