I have long believed that Utah needs balanced government. I have made most of the same arguments on this issue as were raised in that article. Having a single party in power does not generally provide the give-and-take, compromise-and-entertain-new-ideas environment that is the strength of a democratic society. One of the problems that encourages the current dominant-party situation in this state is the blurring of the proper separation of state and federal government. (And you thought I was going to talk about church and state separation.) One of the major causes for this blurring is that the federal government has been given power in many areas that were once reserved to the states. The It’s-a-Small-World mentality means that we think everything is local and we have to make our local decisions based on national implications.
The Utah County Democratic Party tried to make some distinction between different spheres of government last year by adopting a platform that was less like the platform of the Democratic National Committee and more closely aligned to the mainstream voters of this very conservative region. Now they face some resistance from local democrats who are more in favor of the national platform. In a place where the other party has more than 10 times the number of members your party has the initial move makes sense, but what does that imply about the relationship between the national party and the county party? How far from the national platform can you go and still retain the party name?
I don’t know the answer, but I do know that the idea that there should be no correlation between the platforms is as useless as the idea that there should be no variation between them. I hope that the balance here can be found so that Utah will have two viable parties throughout the state and not a ruling party and an opposition party such as we now have.