The Edmond Sun

March 2, 2012

OUR VIEW: Super campaigns need a revamp

The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Super Tuesday offers Oklahomans the chance to give their input in the presidential primaries, but the question is how much input do we really have these days?

The primary season in the GOP races has been a strange odyssey for both the candidates and the public. Many voters are already citing fatigue with the candidates, which is sad when you stop to think that they were never too excited with any of them.

Part of the fatigue stems from the elongated cycle now experienced by whichever party is currently not occupying the White House. For the incumbent it’s a one-year campaign trail, but the opponents are dragged into a two-year or longer cycle. It’s all about raising money, paying political consultants and staff and these are not small operations by any means.

If Americans really want to turn the primary system back to the people, they should shorten the election cycle to be more like municipal elections. If we really want change, we could take that idea a step further and put primaries in every state on the same day. It forces national candidates to show what and where their priorities lie.

Another concern is the switch to Political Action Committees taking over campaign messages for candidates. Oklahoma voters in the past two weeks were more likely to have heard PAC messages than actual messages from the candidates themselves. It makes one wonder who’s really in charge of our national electoral process these days.

What we do today is not campaigning. It’s nothing but a publicity contest.

But until we can implement true change, the best way to participate in our democracy remains in the simple act of exercising your vote. Turn out and cast your ballot any time between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday and make an informed choice. Our nation is counting on you.