Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Another Electoral Aside

Just as my post on the lack of voting rights in DC was a bit off topic for this blog, this post too wavers from my blog's purpose. But as someone who truly cherishes her right to vote, I feel compelled to say that the caucus system here in Minnesota blows. While I love the idea of a caucus being a grass roots way to get motivated citizens involved in the affairs of their political parties, I hate the fact that it makes it impossible for everyone to attend (or even meaningfully participate.) Take our household, someone has to stay home with the child (whose bedtime falls at the caucus start). So the lucky individual heading over to our caucus site found that it was so crowded and there wasn't enough space at the site to even hear what was being said, so straw poll votes were cast and no caucusing took place. Since I can't even claim to understand what exactly happens re: the nomination of our candidate for U.S. Senate, that too seems to be a problem. C'mon folks, a straight up primary (one now for Presidential races and one later for our Congressional seats), is the easiest way to allow everyone who wants to vote a better chance at making it to the polls.

1 comment:

Janne Kimberly said...

I wouldn't be so sure that political participation is so off topic for this blog...

I want you to know that last Tuesday was not a normal caucus experience. (Incredibly exciting to have such turnout, but as a regular caucus-goer, unfortunately unprecedented.) It was, in part, a result of the newly-introduced presidential preference ballot part of the caucus, and the national context for the event.

I don't know whether I'm a caucus defender or not. It is an easy way for people to become directly (and more deeply) involved in local, regional and even national politics. And, you don't HAVE to attend to participate... but without having attended one is unlikely to know how to swing that trick.

Certainly, the DFL (my caucusing party of choice) needs to gt better at welcoming people into the process - but they are getting better at it.

I think the party will be the worse for it if the caucus were replaced by a primary, but I'm not sure that the voters would be the worse for it.