Towards a Fairer Primary Process
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I propose that a change be made to the primary process for Presidential elections. My proposal in general is this: five states vote on the same day and the process is repeated with the remaining states for the following 9 weeks (where territories are placed can be dealt with also but I will concern myself only with the states for this general proposal).
It would not be a randomly generated process since that could result in some strange results such as states that are too geographically separated or states that are too politically similar. These are just a few examples of why a random selection could be problematic.
Instead, the process should be thoughtful. For example during the 2012 election 5 states could be selected such as: Indiana, Pennsylvania, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Kansas. This is just an example of course. If these groups of five states are thoughtfully chosen it should be a simple matter to make the groups fair and still make it reasonable for a candidate to campaign effectively within all of the states without undue travel.
Once a list of these groups is generated, the process could then proceed through the list as each successive Presidential election takes place. For example group A is first in 2012 and then group B moves to the front of the list for 2016 while group A moves to the back of the list, and the process continues for ten election cycles until we return again to group A.
Such a process seems easily achievable, much fairer, and provides some additional benefits. No state’s pet projects will have undue influence on American policy. States will not be motivated to attempt to change the date of their primary, and all states will feel as though they will eventually be a meaningful part of the process. Some states now feel that their vote comes so late in the cycle that most primaries are actually settled before they ever get to weigh in.
Why not make the process more egalitarian, and eliminate the pitfalls of our current process? It is not difficult to accomplish, and the benefits would redound to us all.