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Some Utah Republican legislators recently raised the subject of how political parties in Utah choose their candidates for public office ("Lawmakers play with idea of direct primaries," Tribune, May 11).

The existing method is through neighborhood caucuses, where small groups of party hacks do the choosing. The proposed alternative is through an open primary election.

The open primary would be the small-d democratic way to do it, with the choice being made by all those affected. The caucus system is the small-r republican way, with the choice for the many being made by the select few (recall last year's convention victory of Sen. Mike Lee over Sen. Bob Bennett, even though most Republican voters wanted Bennett).

Don't let the entire electorate in on the nominating; those who know best will do it for them. That's what the Republicans mean when they say "This is a republic, not a democracy." And so it is, in Utah.

Bangs L. Tapscott

Salt Lake City