Hon. Robert Luce '82, representative from Somerville in the Massachusetts Legislature, and author of the "Luce Caucus Reform Bill" spoke last evening in Room 6 of the Union before the Political Club on "Caucus Reform." Mr. Luce has advocated the adoption of direct nomination of party candidates at the primaries as a substitute for the present method of nomination by conventions.
This subject of caucus reform, he said, however narrow and small it may seem on the surface, is in reality one which involves the fundamental principles of democracy and individualism. Although in theory the equality of all men is still firmly maintained, nevertheless in practical politics means have always been found to prevent the individual voter from exercising his full sway. One of these devices, nomination by a convention made up of delegates from the caucus, throws the power of the caucus directly into the hands of the "machine" which with its active interest in politics, can as a rule, easily control the convention.
As a remedy for this state of affairs, the system of direct nomination by the caucus has been introduced. By this system, the nominating convention is done away with and each voter is given a direct and immediate share in naming the party candidates; the primary becomes in fact a primary election. The plan has already been adopted in several states, and has given almost universal satisfaction. It has aroused an interest among the voters to secure good nominees, and has materially lessened the power of the party "bosses."