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A degree in government, with which I graduated 57 years ago, can only teach you so much.

It may or may not explain the reasoning behind the Electoral College.

It may or may not convince voters of the merits of open or closed primaries.

In my case, it never made the case for caucuses instead of primary elections to choose each party’s candidates for president.

To me, the concept is simple.

In a primary election, members of a party go to the polls, typically from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., to cast their secret ballots for the candidates who most appeal to them. It is the same way that candidates are elected to every office from city hall to the White House.

In a caucus, as best I can tell from telecasts of the proceedings, a relatively few members of a party gather around in a few big rooms in the evening and decide how to vote. It is a procedure that reminds me of how we elected members of the Safety Patrol in fifth grade.

The state of Iowa, first in the nation to express its presidential preferences, held its caucuses last week. Twenty-four hours later, each candidate was credited with only a few hundred votes. The vote count would have meaning only in a small town city commission election.

Something jumped the track.

Another “nothing can go wrong” system crashed and burned.

At least this took some of the pressure off of Flori-Duh.

Iowa requires paper ballots, allowing actual people to count the votes, as does Florida. It may not be state-of-the-art, but it guarantees voters a chance to have their votes counted when foolproof systems fail.

To me, the Iowa caucuses would have had more value if Mike Bloomberg had been on the ballot. Having been a Republican, an Independent, and a Democrat, he has shown that he is not an idealogue who will cast a knee-jerk vote dictated by his party’s leaders on every issue.

In today’s political climate, that would be a breath of fresh air.

He deserves, in my opinion, a shot at his party’s nomination.

(S. L. Frisbie is retired. Three years ago, for the first time ever, he declined to say whom he had voted for, considering both candidates for president to be unqualified. He hopes that both parties will offer voters a better choice this year.)