Building on the success of the 2007 National Presidential Caucus to stimulate participation through local presidential straw poll caucuses across the country, the NPC has since taken up the challenge of acting to facilitate ongoing cross party consultations in an effort to make continuous improvements in the common primary election calendar and system.
"Working for Primary Election System Reform"
There may be no greater public policy question than who is chosen to become president. How we make that choice, embodied in the election rules, has an enormous effect on who gets elected. The quality of our nation's presidential primary election process rests on our combined ability to establish an orderly, fair and inclusive process.
Yet, with no central controlling authority to resolve conflicts, the many interests of state and national parties as well as state governments must finally collaborate and negotiate a formula for each election cycle to choose the two or three “finalists” to become president.
Since 2007, the National Presidential Caucus(NPC) has provided a cross party consultation and relationship forum enabling reform leaders from the two major political parties, public officials and others to increase alignment and coordination of election rules around the common primary calendar.
The central question of the effectiveness of election rules sits atop their credibility for tangible consequences from violations. Rules without enforcement breed cynicism, apathy, chaos and undermine efforts to improve an election system critical to our national democracy.
Impressive new resolve demonstrated by the major political parties in the enforcement of new voting and calendar rules has proven effective in reducing chaotic front loading of state primary and caucus election dates. The past two presidential election cycles, 2008 for the Democrats and 2012 for the Republicans, have seen extended contests that increased opportunities for participation by more voters in more states than ever before.
Confidence in the system increases even as major challenges remain. Can the parties and states agree on and enforce rules that move first contest dates later in the election year while also preventing over long primary season that overburdens an electorate unhappy with perpetual campaigns?
How can the many varied and often chaotic state party caucus processes, as part of the overall public primary election and civic engagement process, become more orderly, fair and inclusive?
Convene as an ongoing consultation and collaboration among leaders and representatives of the national parties' rules committees and state election officials to develop ideas and proposals to improve the common primary election system.
NPC on Primary Reform is a project of the Open Caucus Institute, a non-profit public benefit corporation.
Don Means, Director
Contact: info at nationalcaucus.org
Press Inquiries: 415-three five zero-3316