Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Pox Upon Your Caucus

The Seattle Times' Danny Westneat on Washington's caucus system:
In the media coverage of the caucuses, it will be said there was "record turnout" and "lines around the block." Someone will say they've never seen such robust civic participation.

All that is true — for a caucus. But the reality is the percentage of voters who weighed in Saturday to pick a president was far lower than is typical even for off-year votes for things like school levies.

An estimated 10 percent of registered voters took part — obliterating the old record for a caucus. Still, that is about a million fewer voters than cast ballots in the 2000 presidential primary (which was a normal election, not a gathering in school gyms and churches).


Clinton backer and first-time caucuser Ivan Vulovic, 22, said the entire caucus system should be scrapped.

"This is horrible," he said. "It's not democratic. I think we should hold a regular election instead of this."

Well, we tried. But the parties — especially the Democratic Party — didn't like it. When choosing their nominees, they want to limit who participates — no independents or crossover voters — as well as get your names and addresses so they can telemarket you and grow their organizations.

While my chest swelled to see this outpouring of democracy from my neighbors, it's definitely not convenient and thus shuts out many who either couldn't make it because of scheduling or just didn't have the time to spend 2 to 3 hours devoted to the process due to things like physical ailments, child care, etc.


At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoy reading your blog, it always has great insight. But I am very frustrated with the media’s lack of questions to the presidential candidates about global warming. Now that it is down to just a few candidates I would think that this would be an issue.

Live Earth just picked up this topic and put out an article ( ) live earth is also asking why the presidential candidates are not being solicited for their stance on the issue of the climate change. I just saw a poll on that says people care a lot about what their next leader thinks of global warming. Does anyone know of another poll or other results about this subject?

Here is the page where I saw the EarthLab poll: This is a pretty legit website; they are endorsed by Al Gore and the alliance for climate protection and they have a carbon footprint calculator. Does anyone have a strong opinion about this like I do? No matter what your political affiliation is or who you vote for this is an important issue for our environment, our economy and for homeland security.


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