Is our electoral system broken?

I recently had  a discussion with a friend of mine on the political discussions, debates, hulabaloo and whatnot going on currently.  It got me to thinking about something.

I really believe our electoral system is broken.  Fatally, if I may say.  Now, I still believe we have the best form of government available to mankind, but I think this portion of the process is seriously broken and unfair.

My friend commented that there should only be three elections per electoral cycle.  His explanation made plenty of sense.   But I think we can go one further; two.  I’ll try to make a case for it.  Please, feel free to discuss/dispute in civil manners at the end.

This year is an election year, so we’ll use the 2012 year as the example.  This goes for either party, please keep that in mind.  Okay, for the sake of this discussion, we are keeping with present history; Democrats control the Senate, the White House, and Republicans control the House.  The Republicans are trying to get the Democrats out of the White House, and probably the Senate as well.

As we all know, the Iowa Caucuses signal the beginning of the campaigning/election cycle.  Here’s where my point that our election cycle is broken comes from.  The field started with 7 candidates.  There were a series of debates leading up to the caucus, and then Iowa goes and does it’s thing.

At the end of that process, at least one candidate drops out of the race.  Shortly after that, NH has it’s primary, and another eventually drops out.  Here’s my rub; there are still 48 other states where those two candidates might have had a HUGE support following.  Why is it that just 2 states, perhaps 3 (SC coming up this week) get to use their “we’re first” status to decide who is going to be the eventual party nominee?

What about the voices of the voters in the remaining 48 states?  What if we don’t like the eventual nominee?  We don’t have a choice in the nomination process anymore, because 2-3 states get to have their primaries first, and the rest of us have to just live with it.

Wouldn’t it be more fair across the board if the election process went like this:

All party nominee candidates must declare their desire to run 8 months before the start of an election year.  Full, NATIONWIDE campaigning begins 6 months.  Every candidate has the same amount of time to drum up as much national support as they can.

First Tuesday of the first full week of Jan, there’s a national nomination election.  The entire nation  (registered voters with associated political party, and independents) get to vote for who they want as the party nominee to run against the incumbent (or opposition party, depending).  Then, in November, there’s the general election, as normal.  Skip the Electoral college, popular vote wins.  The people truly do elect their president/governmental representation.

1 primary, 1 general election.  Plain, simple, and fair.  Yes?

I welcome arguments, counter points of view, and comments of support.