Responding to my column about Iowa and New Hampshire and how parties, not voters, determine nominations, a commenter wrote:
"It's the parties choosing their candidate. In almost all other nations this is done quietly, and we don't pretend the people have a say. This is just more of a show to give the illusion of choice.
"In the end, you have two choices: the person the Republicans pick or the person the Democrats pick."
What he says about how most nations choose their leaders is correct. Sometimes only official party members have a say in nominations. Sometimes the parliamentary party chooses. Until very recently, only the U.S. had elections or caucuses open to all party voters or, as is the case in many states, any voter who wants to participate, and they are still very rare.
But the U.S. system is not "a show to give the illusion of choice," despite the limited role of citizens who vote but otherwise don't participate.