The Instigator
wingnut2280
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points
The Contender
Patrick_Henry
Con (against)
Losing
17 Points

Our nomination system sucks

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/29/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,269 times Debate No: 2283
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (8)

 

wingnut2280

Pro

First, we have a state-by-state system that encourages people to simply vote for a frontrunner as opposed to voting for a candidate they actually support.

Second, caucuses are inherently flawed. They are only open for a few hours which bars countless voters from the polls. Because of the minimum support requirement, they are not reflective of voter support.

We should switch to a series of national primaries.
Patrick_Henry

Con

I will easily concede that there are many problems with our government and our electoral system which undermine the interests of both the people, and the common good but the reform which you are advocating will only act to further remove personal participation from our political system and replace it with the strength of fund raising.

While the state by state system does have some problems, the current order that the presidential primaries and caucuses are conducted in makes it possible for a candidate with limited funds to actually participate. New Hampshire requires a mere thousand dollars to place a candidate on the ballot of their primary, and the state is small enough that a campaign with limited staff and resources can still meet a large number of voters. This distinction makes it possible to run a race with out spending tens of millions of dollars on paid media, which means a candidate that cannot raise those kinds of funds may still participate.

With the State of Iowa's system caucus system, it actually makes it even more likely for a candidate with limited national name recognition to make a strong showing. In years prior, the turn out for the Iowa Caucuses on the Democratic side of the ticket was just above one hundred thousand democratic activists. This made it incredibly easy for a candidate with a staff number just a few dozen to work within the rural and urban communities of Iowa and contact recruit, and appeal to the specific activists. Many politicians will joke about how in Iowa, a Democratic activist will insist on meeting the candidate multiple times before caucusing for them. Many of the activists that caucus take the time to attend multiple events, and consider themselves often to be undecided as the walk into the caucus though they may have someone in mind that they intend to support. The nature of the Iowa caucuses requires face to face interaction as opposed to primaries in larger states, such as California where a campaign will rely more on media buys than on turning out individuals who have actually attended events.

The caucus system is not designed to be an open primary, and it should naturally disenfranchise. The caucus is intended to be the meeting at which the business of the party is conducted. It is there that platform planks are first submitted, and local county committee assignments are made by those in the room. It is the basis of a grass roots party, and designed to limit top down action on the policies which the party will support and advocate. With the break down into candidate preference groups, it is intended that delegates to the county will reflect the support of the presidential candidates so that our local, county, and state policies may reflect the spirit of the individuals who are most likely to receive the support of Iowa's delegates at the national convention.

The 15% viability rule is a necessity due to the fact that many precincts in Iowa have very few county delegates to reward, and you can't really apply a part of one delegate to a county convention. It'd be very difficult to tell a person that 12% of them has to support Dodd, 23% has to support Richardson, and the rest can support Biden to appease those who turned out to support their candidate, but that were not viable.

While those living in states that do not have a first in the nation status may feel envious of Iowans and others living in the early states, it is a necessity to avoid the profound influence of money on the system from being even more powerful.

A national primary system would mean that to be able to campaign in 50 states at once, you would require the funding to campaign in 50 states at once, as sum which is likely to be several hundred millions dollars giving how modern politics is conducted in the United States. And any good citizen should be deftly afraid of any politician who can fund raise a hundred million dollars before they're even a nominee.

Unless you want to have fund raising be the only factor in electoral politics in the United States, we cannot implement a national primary system.

Your criticism ought to be directed at the media, not the system, for failing to include much, if any coverage of candidates that were not polling in the top three, or fund raising tens of millions of dollars. Journalists and pundits serving increased readership and ratings rather than truth have betrayed the national interests of this county, and undermined the strength of our democracy.
Debate Round No. 1
wingnut2280

Pro

wingnut2280 forfeited this round.
Patrick_Henry

Con

I'd really appreciate a response. It'd be nice to know if I'm full of it, or at the very least if I am convincing.
Debate Round No. 2
wingnut2280

Pro

First, your argument for money actually stands to the contrary. While low-funded candidates are able to go out and campaign in small states, high-funded candidates are able to simply flood the small market. I agree that the current system gives smaller candidates a chance, but the difference in opportunity is small and it doesn't outweigh the other negatives of the status quo.

The current nomination system allows for vicious amounts of pandering. Candidates run social issues in Iowa, then economic issues in NH and Michigan, then military issues in SC. Rather than allowing candidates to express their platforms, the difference in demographics from state to state force candidates to appeal to local concerns due to the high pressure on candidates to place well in the small number of primaries.

The main issue in this election has been electability. Constituents want to nominate someone who can beat the other party. A national primary would be more reflective of performance in the general election. Obama trounced Clinton in SC, but trails in most of the super-tuesday states. Clinton's message of electability isn't holding water because people are not aware of her lead in the vast majority of states as well as the national polls because Obama's victory in a single lopsided state floods the press.

The current system also entices voters to cast their vote for a front-runner. This is essentially the reason McCain leads now. Whomever can string multipole victories together becomes an heir-apparent and makes it difficult for other candidates to win, despite their more reflective platform. While a series of national primaries would cause this as well. We would be able to make the case that the front-runner acheived that status by appealing to the party as a whole rather than the potentially lopsided constituencies of a very small number of states.

Caucuses are inherently flawed. First, they are not reflective of the voting population as they exclude many people from 'voting' due to time constraints or lack of avilability. Not everyone has hours to dedicate to a caucus or the availbility of that time of day. Second, only hard-core activists participate in caucuses. Eventhough they may be undecided, the people who caucus are more involved than the common voter. This means that caucus results are not reflective of support because more apathetic voters may turn out for a different candidate. Third, the minimum rule is not a necessity. Rather than transfering the voters from a smaller candidate, simply count them as present but don't award him a delegate. Your argument here is contrary to your argument for helping small candidates. The caucus system renders small candidates no support, rather than reflecting the real amount of support they got.

I live in Iowa. I can tell you first hand that voters here are certainly not reflective of the national demographic. I am a strong advocate for states rights. But, lets face it. Voters vote for a winner. This is why candidates recieve a ten point bump in the next state after winning the previous one. We aren't going to find a state that is even close to reflective of the national opinion. Without a state like this the current system fails. Contrary to what you argue, small candidates are actually limited by the current system. Big market candidates flood the small market and without the funds to withstand a poor showing, candidates are forced to either pander to local views or be cast out of the election. Huckabee is low-funded, but hasn't shown well since Iowa. His conservative populist views held thier, but weren't held elsewhere, hence his failure. Guiliani was the national candidate for months, but because his message didn't grab hold in the early states, he fell down the polls as people claimed victory in demographically lopsided states.

If we want a true nomination system, we need it to be national. This is the only way we can find out whose platform is truely conducive to the party as a whole. While I agree that the media is to blame (look at what they did to Edwards), the fact that winners move on in a state by state basis is an atrocity to the political system.
Patrick_Henry

Con

I guess since this is relying on opinion, I have to drop my credentials. I attended 138 democratic and republican presidential events in the State of Iowa while working for a non-partisan non-profit issues campaign. Attended even more events after I took a position with a candidate, where I was a regional field director for the last three weeks of the race, and at the same time managed to pull off 9% of my candidate's final statewide support.

Having been to 138 events as a non-partisan witness, I can safely say that candidates spoke about more than just social issues. I attended candidate events in more than thirty counties, and saw a large variety of issues covered. Many of the candidates spoke to environmental issues, foreign policy issues, economic issues without being prompted by questions. However, if you only attended the events of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, you saw a greatly minimized amount of audience participation.

I like that you dismiss my argument about a national primary destroying the candidacy of small candidates that draw funds by simply saying it doesn't matter. So, as opposed to give underfunded candidates a chance, you would rule them out all together. You should look at the amount of fund raising that Edwards and Kerry did, when they were 4th and 5th in the polls in Iowa and the boon that both candidate in financing with their 1st and 2nd place finishes. If a national primary had been the sole factor, the better fund raising candidates, like Gephart and Dean would have stood a better chance, even though both of their campaigns lacked the funds to run a 50 state campaign which would have sent them to special interests and lobbies to sell the votes, souls, and integrity.

As an Iowan, I have no desire to see fund raising become the sole priority of a nationally based campaign. There were ways which small candidates, like Tommy Thompson, and Tom Tancredo were able to shape the outcome of the issues in their party by showing support for their positions in Iowa. Both Tancredo and Thompson would have never received any attention on a national stage, and Iowa was the only reason why their input mattered. Sam Brownback was also able to push international issues, which otherwise would have been unheard.

On the Democratic side of the ticket, I can only imagine how limited the debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama would have been if they had not been forced to encounter Bill Richardson's environmental issues, the depth and breadth of Joe Biden's experience in foreign policy, civil rights, and the judiciary, as well as Chris Dodd's input on constitutional matters, and fiscal matters. Joe Biden is still the only Candidate in either party who has put forth a solution to Iraq which has passed the Senate with 75 votes, and the House with 371. While the front runners have yet to place anything in stone regarding it, Biden's presidential campaign has made millions of people aware of what has become the "Biden Exit Strategy."

When Biden was fund raising, he was told by large groups of donors that he was "Too inconsistent" for them to support because he doesn't vote they way his donors want him to. The man has not knowingly met with a registered lobbyist in 35 years of being a Senator, makes less than 300,000 a year including his wife's income from teaching, and his income from teaching a constitutional law class on the weekends at the University of Delaware. Do you really want to discourage a person with his history and integrity from being willing to peruse the Presidency?

Iowa doesn't reflect the national demographic. The average Iowan is better educated than most of the folks living in other states, to begin with. If you want to discuss our lack of racial diversity, you must only be paying attention to certain parts of our state. We have very large pockets of both Latino and African American voters which can and have shaped caucus campaigns in the past. Iowa has always been a progressive state when it comes to many things, including having integrated education since the 1870s.

The caucuses are not supposed to be a primary. I think you ignored my previous statement of such. They have their strengths which primaries lack. For instance, in Iowa, individual activists actually choose their delegates to the county convention, who then choose their delegates to the state, who then choose their delegates to the national convention. In states with a primary, a party official gets to choose their delegates. If you want to hand power directly to the party establishment and significantly limit the ability of grass roots, and neighborhood organizing to effect both state and national policies, you'll do away with the caucuses. We have the Iowa Caucuses because of how corrupt Iowa's political parties used to be, especially the Democrats.

Caucuses are actually better when they're more exclusive, because each person matters more to each candidate which forces the candidates to literally spend quality time with individuals, not just hosting rallies with mobs. As far as participation goes, the date and location of the Iowa Caucuses are set months in advance, and in most cases you can arrange a evening off from work, a sitter for your kids, even though you can -bring- your kids to the caucus. Why would you want to insist that someone who doesn't care enough to change their work schedule, or make other arrangements still participate? Sometimes it should require effort to be a good citizen.

The Media has made issues out of elect-ability. Because of the lack of research in their journalism, they resort to spending an afternoon talking about polls instead of spending an afternoon reading about policy after a morning of research to spend fifteen minutes providing worthwhile coverage of our nation's politicians. If we had a national primary, the media's coverage would become even more important, and given their current poor quality I'm not willing to trust the future of my nation to Wolf Blitzer and Tom O'Reily.

Rudy Guiliani did not fail in early states because of some flaw within the early states, he actively decided not to campaign. Why would you want a system where a candidate that does not bother campaigning have more of a chance? Rudy Guiliani spent almost no time in the state, and his campaign managed to gravely, gravely offend about a third of the state when they backed out of an event after telling the family farmers that were hosting them that they basically weren't rich enough to host an event.

John McCain is leading in the polls right now because he's a moderate politician. George Bush's presidency has been pretty craptacular, and there's been one person who has been clear opposition to many of his efforts, and that was John McCain. John McCain has done more to work against George Bush's policies in the last seven years than Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi. John McCain was leading in the polls two years ago, why should it be a surprise that he is leading now? Are you suggesting that somehow people would be talking about Mike Huckabee as a viable candidate if he hadn't won in Iowa? Name recognition is a big deal in politics. You can't vote for someone you've never heard of, so of course when a candidate wins in Iowa or New Hampshire they receive a boost in the polls. Very few people had ever heard of John Kerry before he won in Iowa.

If you're unhappy because the candidate you liked was not viable in your precinct, I encourage you to talk to me further. I have a lot of feed back about this and a national primary is not the solution.

Before you even complain about the media not covering Edwards enough, bear in mind all the times it was mentioned that Obama used to teach constitutional law, but it was never mentioned that Senator Biden teaches Constitutional Law while being a Senator for the last 18 years.
Debate Round No. 3
wingnut2280

Pro

OK, you went to a lot of events. I'm not saying that people preach STRICTLY social issues, but that is the majority of the reasons people vote in Iowa, steroetypically. The evangelicals gave Huckabee a win and failed to do so in any of the later states, save last night. This shows how traditional and social issues bear enormously on Iowa results.

I didn't argue that small candidates shouldn't have a chance. I said that the small candidates that do receive a chance out of Iowa don't reflect ideals that the party wnats nationally. Huckabee proves. We should give small market candidates that reflect the nation a chance. Not just candidates that Iowa, or any other single state, takes a liking to.

All of the smaller candidates you mentioned had no effect on the race anyway. Brownback dropped out virtually before Iowa. Richardson had momentum despite finishing fourth in Iowa. I don't see your point. There is no evidence or argument that would show that small market candidates have some kind of an effect in one state than they would have on a national stage.

Having a notional primary would allow these small candidates a national stage like the youtube debates and showings on pundants television programs.

The only times this encouraging of the small market candidate actually occurs is when that small market candidate fits the demographic opinion of that particular first and second state, like Huckabee and Iowa. A national primary would allow the small market candidates a national stage, in order to reach more voters, while still reflecting the true opinion of the party's constituents devoid of the tinted lens of a few lopsided states.

Caucuses impede grassroots movements. They exclude small candidates and a massive number of voters, only counting the most avid of political participants. Choosing delegates versus relaying through a party is irrelevant to the grassroots movement. In fact, one could argue that direct selection of delegates by caucus goers ignores the spirit of the party and again, only encourages the most avid political participants.

Caucuses are the true reflection of funding. Whoever can afford the organization required to get avid supporters to the caucus wins. Romney and Obama, the two biggest fundraisers, have dominated caucuses. There is no incentive to spend time with people any more so than primaries.

Why do you think Guiliani didn't campaign in places like Iowa? Because his message didn't resonate in such a traditional and religous states, despite his massive leads in the national polls at the time. Again, a perfect instance of a state skewing the opinion of the party as a whole.

McCain leading in the polls is due to his ability to be popular in consecutive states. He resonated in NH which gave him momentum to the military states of SC which gave him momentum into FL. This made him the declared front-runner and put him into the lead in many states on super tuesday, despite his widespread despisal amongst his own party. The only reason McCain is in the lead is because the states that happened to be the first couple fo primaries were states his message resonated in, despite his hatred among conservatives. His ability to win there spurred him to popularity and people felt pressured to vote for the frontrunner, which is why he is winning. John McCain is the perfect example of why we shouldn't have state-by-state nomination systems.

Huckabee having traction is a bad thing. The only reason he is known is because the people of Iowa liked him. He had onel second place finish after that. This shows that not many republicans find him appealing. Had it been maine or indiana or some other state, huckabee would be off the map and some other niche candidate would be rolling now.

I realize the media plays a part in the problem. But, the 'vote-for-the-winner' trend kills any chance of the party's constituency being represented. We see a candidate fitting a different niche every couple of days. If a candidate can string together a couple of these niche areas, they become the heir-apparent (McCain) and collect votes they otherwise wouldn't have gotten.

A national primary provides all of the small market candidates with an equal chance rather than giving one of them a niche to take hold of like Huckabee did. While I admit, it doesn't solve every problem (maybe regional primaries), it ensures us an accurate candidate as far as constituetive representation.
Patrick_Henry

Con

Why on earth do you think that if we had a national primary that smaller candidates would receive national attention? Every major news media outlet in the country spent a majority of their time covering the top three candidates in each party.

To be on the ballot in each state costs a lump sum of money which is decided by each state. New Hampshire, the darling of political freedom, only charges a thousand dollars to be on the ballot. In South Carolina for example, the Republican ticket costs 30,000 and the democratic ticket costs 2,500. By saying that there is going to be a national primary, you are literally requiring hundreds of thousands of dollars of funding to put the candidate on the ballot in all 50 states at once. You will immediately limit the ability for a candidate to run which is not independently wealthy, or incredibly well funded prior to even announcing.

So, before the media would even take a candidate "seriously", they'd need hundreds of thousands of dollars of funding, which means you will never see a President with humble political beginnings, such as Carter, Clinton, or really anyone who lacks -national- name recognition. Which, believe it or not, is a majority of the congressional representatives.

Your analysis of the issues which Iowans rely on is wrong. Period. You can say you're just employing a stereotype or a rule of thumb, but you're still wrong. If you look at Romney's three pillars speech which he gave all around Iowa, it talks about how the nation needs a strong military, a strong economy, and strong families. While the family might be a social issue, I'm pretty confident that security and economics made up a majority of that speech's content. He still received 25% of the county delegates.

I gather that you dislike Huckabee, but only 34% of the Republican party supported him. So, you think Iowa is terrible because 66% percent of the party decided not to support him. Romney was ineffective at targeting McCain supporters, or Thompson supporters. Even good old Duncan Hunter, who spent very little time in Iowa received some support. Mike Huckabee is at about the same level of national support as Mitt Romney, so I don't fathom how you've come to the conclusion that Iowa was skewed when he won the state.

You make the claim that caucuses are an indication of how much money you can spend to organize avid supporters, yet Mitt Romney outspent everyone in his party, and only received 25% of the vote. So, again your generalization or whatever you'd like to call it is also wrong.

You allege that the candidates I mentioned had no effect on the race. I disagree, but I won't get into it. You claimed that Sam Brownback had no support, and dropped out before Iowa. Well, he did pull off 15% at the Ames Straw Poll, polling consistently higher in the state than McCain or Thompson. I don't personally know his reasons for dropping out, but he did have support in the State, and he went on to endorse McCain.

Richardson was a weak candidate from the beginning, and had a terrible speaking style and a terrible stage presence which is why his numbers sharply dropped after the hype created by his great television commercials. He never did well in any of the Democratic debates, and the prize for finishing fourth was the New Hampshire debate, a prize which he did not capitalize on.

If Guiliani had bothered spending any time in the state of Iowa, he might have gotten a 4th place finish, and he might have been at that New Hampshire debate. You can't win an election when you don't campaign. It was not an intelligent decision on the part of his campaign to ignore Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Michigan, and Nevada to hope and pray that after not campaigning against anyone that you'll be able to pull off a victory in Florida. If he had spent more time campaigning, the man would have been terribly embarrassed as his opponents pointed out his lack of knowledge, experience, and really anything to base a platform off of. Also, Joe Biden singlehandedly destroyed his candidacy by pointing out that every sentence out of Rudy's mouth contained a noun, a verb, and 9/11.

His campaign was a failure because it didn't campaign. I wouldn't go about accepting his excuse "Oh, I knew I wouldn't do well in Iowa because I have three wives, my kids hate me, and 9/11." He was a hallow man with nothing to stand on, or stand behind, especially since the 9/11 commission report contains nothing but criticism for him. Not to mention the fire fighters that died because he failed to replace their faulty equipment after repeatedly being told about it.

Your statements about grassroots movements are also fallacious. At the county convention, the party forms the county platform, and so forth at the district and state levels. A grassroots movement that can get a dozen people to a precinct can wind up getting a delegate to express their views at the county, to force their planks onto the platform. If the party establishment chooses those who decide the platform, obviously the grassroots movement won't get anywhere unless it first becomes mainstream which means it's not a grassroots movement.

The caucus is conducted by precincts. A candidate can do very well in one county, and not in another. That's how grass roots can be effected. Where Obama failed is that in my precinct, he had 200 folks show up to caucus for him, but couldn't find eight of his supporters that wanted to go to the county convention. So, Obama might have won the caucuses but it will not be reflected on the platform as people who are actually willing to be involved, remain involved.

I don't think that I have ever received a memo on what the spirit of the party is, however the party's business is the party's business. If people honestly don't care to participate, they really shouldn't have any influence. Very few individuals ever attend a central committee meeting, very few people ever help to plan an event, or even help out with volunteer time for anything. There's no reason nor obligation to extend participation to someone who wants to spend 99.9% of their year having nothing to do with politics, or their party.

If you want to participate, you're more than welcome to. But there's no reason to slight people who actually work to advance the party, and get folks elected just so you can include people who don't care enough to lift a finger on any other day but election day.

The reason why McCain is leading in the polls is not his popularity, he is leading in the polls because people that are members of the Republican party are supporting him. If anything, last nights score of primaries and handful of caucuses shows that there is no "vote for the winner trend", as all three of the remaining Republican candidates pick up whole states, and dozens of national delegates, and as both of the Democratic candidates have no edge over each other.

To suggest that a "vote for the winner" mentality is projecting McCain into to the front line is another little analyzed view point that doesn't hold up to examination. If people are supporting McCain, they're supporting him based off of either issues, or confidence in him. He is a short, unattractive, old and broken man who has spent less than Romney, and goes against a good chunk of the Reagan coalition of conservatives' bloc. So, he is winning because Republicans are voting for him, and maybe, just maybe they're tired of the last seven years of repeated lies and failures on the part of their party's control of congress and the administration.

A national primary wouldn't help with constituent groups, it would destroy them. It would destroy the grass roots, and it would destroy participation in our system by anyone who is not writing a check. It would make the voting bloc nothing more than a pawn of the rich.

It would destroy Democracy. I would rather see a return to the electoral college.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by DoubleXMinus 9 years ago
DoubleXMinus
Can I get a reply here, Partrick? I voted for you anyway because you made your case better and yet I'm left with this shitty service? =)
Posted by DoubleXMinus 9 years ago
DoubleXMinus
Another thought, maybe the higher form of "democracy" employed through the caucuses should give way to more organizations like the Council on Foreign Relations and then all the uneducated folk can just stand by and wait for families like the Rockefellers to tell us who our president should be.

After all, the international bankers are some of the most educated and politically involved people around.
Posted by DoubleXMinus 9 years ago
DoubleXMinus
Athens – Pericles employed direct democracy which gave every citizen the right to vote. I can't believe your definition of true democracy is deciding who should and should not count, as soon as that is employed it gives way to manipulation and becomes even easier for the already existing dynasties here in America to dictate what happens.

"True democracy is giving more power over to the hands of the few who really know best what they're doing for the rest of the country!" No, buddy – that'll only lead to more poverty and unemployment. But as long as the aristocracy are happy raping us peasant folk who don't count while lavishing themselves abundantly….

I'm glad we've come to this, though – ‘cause you've basically admitted caucuses are the best way to go vs. primaries ‘cause it's better for democracy to weed the common folk out.
Posted by DoubleXMinus 9 years ago
DoubleXMinus
To really count in a caucus, you have to have a pretty good understanding of the intricate, internal workings of the political system and party rules. Some nobody off the street who has no idea what they're doing wouldn't be able to manipulate the local system or party base. If they're knowledgeable enough to do so, then they deserve to accomplish that.

All through the voting process we've witnessed what a disaster a lot of the caucuses have been, so there goes your precision in who should and should not count in the democratic process, right?

The people who need to be taken care of the most are the middle class in any country, these people are busy and a lot of them just don't have five hours in an evening to devote to standing in lines that may or may not even prove productive once they get into where the caucus is actually taking place.
Posted by Patrick_Henry 9 years ago
Patrick_Henry
In Iowa, the longest they've ever gone for is three hours and they're in the evening.

Depending on where you live, they can be done in 20 minutes.
Posted by wingnut2280 9 years ago
wingnut2280
So, I have to take a day off of work in order for my opinion to be valid? Caucuses last for hours. Sorry if I don't have that kind of availability to where I can go 'voice my opinion' for a few hours in the middle of the day.
Posted by Patrick_Henry 9 years ago
Patrick_Henry
http://www.morganquitno.com...
http://www.psk12.com...

There's a lot more examples, but since they began cross referencing the states for better education quality, Iowa has never been outside of the top ten for overall quality of public education k-12. We were also at the top of the scale for several decades, leading to the ITBS test being administered in dozens of states. (Iowa Test of Basic Skills)

We do have higher standards and expectations in the state for our kids than places like Alabama and Arkansas, no matter what the political view. And considering we're still in the top ten while we're 42 for teacher's pay?

Participation in government is a choice. The Caucuses allow for the most open participation in the political system. To win in Iowa, Presidential candidates literally have to go spend an hour or two at someone's house in some small town. To say caucuses are bad because they don't let you fill in a blank on a ballot then go home discounts the fact that they allow for any person off of the street to become a delegate to the county, the state, and the national convention while also allowing them direct influence on the state's party platform. You literally have months where you can plan your time around participating. Months. "I had to work" means "I didn't care enough to fit caucusing into my time."

The caucuses do not forcefully disenfranchise. People choose to be unable to attend. Just as people choose to not vote in general elections. I for one do not wish to return to an Iowa Democratic Party run from the top down with no regard to the actual thoughts of the members of the party.

Athens, the only true Democracy, relied very strongly on whose voice does or does not count. They limited who could be a citizen. Now adays, we fail to make the connection between citizenship and the privilege of voting. All sorts of people lived in Athens who had no say in the Democracy.
Posted by DoubleXMinus 9 years ago
DoubleXMinus
It almost sounds like you're in complete agreement with any influence Iowa might have over other states following it because, "The average Iowan is better educated than most of the folks living in other states." Which isn't backed up by anything I can find...

Your opinion regarding caucuses I find troubling as well. In that I get the impression you're personally deciding who's better off voting and dependent upon those individual conclusions, do you begin to formulate the pros and cons. What are you basing this on, that if people can't find the time to be energetic activists then their voice shouldn't count?

Being able to decide for any reason whose voice does or does not count will, in itself -- "destroy democracy".
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Vote Placed by YummyYummCupcake 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by DoubleXMinus 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by s0m31john 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by malmal16 9 years ago
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