Why is it that our political parties are so disagreeable, while we still visit with each other over coffee? The answer is that our political parties in Montana are no longer drawing their direction from our grassroots.

Including Libertarians, of the 4,758 precinct vacancies in the June 2014 Primary Election, only 571 positions were filled by properly filing a declaration for nomination and oath of candidacy in a county clerk and recorder’s office.

Of more concern, only 10 of 168 potential county party committees achieved 50 percent of precinct positions represented, the parliamentary threshold for even calling a meeting, choosing officers for the two-year cycle, or sending county delegates to state central committee policy gatherings or nominating conventions. Three were Democrat; seven were Republican. In other words, regardless of party, a tiny minority of Montanans has been left to speak for a huge voiceless majority.

We can work together, regardless of party, to place free speech on the same playing field with moneyed speech. File by 5 p.m. March 12 to represent your precinct. If unopposed, county commissioners will declare you elected. If opposed, your neighbors will vote to choose among you for their representative.

John Driscoll,