Utah's Republicans and Democrats should change the current system for nominating candidates, and minor tweaks won't do the job.
A group of public-spirited Utah political leaders that includes former Gov. Mike Leavitt and Kirk Jowers, head of the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics, is promoting a petition drive that could force the issue. They rightly say the current system allows a small minority party convention delegates to choose candidates.
The result is that popular, moderate, competent candidates such as former Sen. Bob Bennett and former Gov. Olene Walker, lose and few people turn out to vote. Even moderate Rep. Jim Matheson was forced into a primary for the Democratic nomination last year. A primary open to any candidate who collects a certain number of signatures on a petition is the way to go.