Mark Trahant: Election system presents few choices

"Let's vote for president tomorrow. Or next week. If you want to see how fast the election calendar is changing, pick up a date book and flip pages with your thumb.

Last week, Michigan flicked its calendar forward and set a primary date of Jan. 15. Florida moved its date, too.

The point is we all want to go first. We all want a say in picking a party nominee and, by extension, the next president. This is what democracy is all about: Everyone must feel a part of the process. It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat, Republican, Green or Libertarian because the system is rigged to give you few choices.

Bigwigs and party bosses once made this call for us. Then convention delegates and, finally, so-called open caucus and primary contests that were essentially over long before the polls were even scheduled for Western states.

This very system already has cost this country a measure of greatness. If the sweep of primary elections started in the West, the country might have considered (if not elected) names that didn't make it through Iowa and New Hampshire."

Get the Story:
Election system has cost U.S. dearly (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer 9/9)

More Mark Trahant:
Mark Trahant: Deflation a threat to U.S. economy (9/4)
Mark Trahant: 'Prez on the Rez' forum a success (8/27)
Mark Trahant: Is America turning inward? (8/20)
Mark Trahant: Democrats pass on Prez on the Rez (8/13)
Mark Trahant: Bush tax cuts come with a price (8/6)
Mark Trahant: Real estate crisis really about credit (7/30)
Mark Trahant: Science still clear on global warming (07/02)
Mark Trahant: Sacred sites must be saved (6/25)
Mark Trahant: Society is being numbed by dumb (6/18)
Mark Trahant: Creating a world with less garbage (6/11)
Mark Trahant: A boost of the unambiguous (6/4)
Mark Trahant: Economics of immigration reform (5/28)
Mark Trahant: The changing face of America (5/21)
Mark Trahant: Agree to disagree about warming (5/7)
Mark Trahant: Optimism for the newspaper business (4/30)
Mark Trahant: Tribal colleges effective and essential (4/23)
Mark Trahant: The global warming debate (4/16)
Mark Trahant: America's cycles of boom and bust (4/9)
Mark Trahant: Spring cleaning for the government (3/26)
Mark Trahant: The state of the changing news media (3/19)
Mark Trahant: Mismanagement of the Indian trust (3/12)
Mark Trahant: More gloomy prospects for economy (3/5)
Mark Trahant: An important vote for Seattle (2/26)
Mark Trahant: America headed toward credit meltdown (2/19)
Mark Trahant: Doom and gloom on global warming (2/12)
Mark Trahant: Americans unsettled over economy (2/5)
Mark Trahant: Too hard to ignore global warming (1/22)
Mark Trahant: Women finally take their place (1/15)
Mark Trahant: Raise taxes to pay for war in Iraq (1/8)
Mark Trahant: President Gerald Ford and Indian health (1/2)