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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 01:29 PM
Original message
Poll question: Whether it's Obama, or Clinton....
Edited on Sat Apr-26-08 01:51 PM by mrbluto
...who thinks that the primary system for the Democratic party needs to be changed or totally rebuilt from the ground up?

For the moment let's set aside "how is it broken?" and focus on "is it broken enough to merit a fresh approach?"

Please feel free, I in fact encourage you, to mention what might need change in responses - they will form the basis of another poll.

Remember: this is not about a particular candidate in the current race - that would turn into a divisive snipe fest. That said, many people haven't paid close attention to a primary before this one, so it'll be difficult to describe problems we see without referring to candidates and situations in the current primary. We don't want to exclude people, so we're going to have deal with the current primary.

Keeping that in mind, please, please - try not to shade or slant your commentary!
Keep your eyes on the future - please just talk about the mechanisms of the primary!

subsequent note:

Some people have responded and I'd like to add: Please try and state somewhere in your post a flat-out description of the problem. i.e.: "It takes too long", or "Superdelegates are unrepresentative." or "Early states get too much weight in the media"

Remember - there's going to be a follow-up poll. If you state the problem well we'll use your wording.

Also, the more who take the poll, the better a picture we'll get of people's opinion. Please recommend this post.


So the questions is:

The current Democratic primary system...

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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RazBerryBeret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
1. it needs to be fixed.
I don't look forward to going through this again...
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yellowdogintexas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. the chances of this happening again are not strong.
for this to happen again, you have to have at least two candidates so equally matched in power, popularity, base, funding and drive that a clear cut leader does not emerge by end of February. This year is an amazing alignment of the planets, IMHO

If either of these two had chosen not to run this year, this would have been over long ago.

HOWEVER, despite the infighting and stress it is producing there is also a magnificent side effect: The people in the late primary states are for once feeling that their state counts, that it is worthwhile to get out there and vote which also means the down ticket choices are being made by a larger group of voters and the general electorate is more interested and involved than in the past.

And the candidates are courting them. It was electrifying to our primary turnout down here in Texas to actually have the candidates stumping our state with realistic hopes of a good turnout.

We had a GREAT turnout.

Now, let's all get ready to clean the slate, honor the eventual outcome whatever it is and work our asses off for the nominee, and all those down ballot local/state/national offices
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. You make a good point.
This primary has proved a lot about how many Democrats there really are.

Whether we kept this system, or had a new system, that is a dynamic advantage that is important to have.
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LakeSamish706 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. No mater what the chances of it happening again are, it needs to be fixed. n/t
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. This current difficulty...
...makes us aware of certain problems.

There may be others.

Let's think about what may be a problem and ways to avoid those problems, or, perhaps, whether they are bad enough to bother avoiding.

Do I take it you don't think the system could use change because this current difficulty is unlikely to happen again?
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
2. Two, or more, groups that matter.
I'm not sure how much we should weigh in favor of one of these groups over another, but here they are:
  • Active, registered, members of the democratic party.
  • Registered members of the democratic party.
  • Democratic leaning non-registered persons.
  • The country as a whole.

On one hand you want to have as many votes over all, on the other hand why am I going to work for a party that pays me no special attention?

I think the current primary doesn't handle this sort of question well.
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jesus_of_suburbia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
3. The Superdelegate thing is sh***y... and I'm a Clinton supporter.
All you people saying it should stay the same...... WHAT THE HELL?


Take away the superdelegates in future primaries.
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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Something we can agree on.
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #3
17. So in a follow up poll you'd say...
A new system needs to be strictly representative?
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jesus_of_suburbia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #17
57. Yes. But change the rules first. I play by the rules, shi**y or not.
I think the superdelegate votes are the worst idea EVER.


But as a Hillary supporter, I'll play by the rules.


I just wish we changed the rules long ago.

Maybe this election cycle will be the catalyst. I don't ever want another Primary like this sh*t again.
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jesus_of_suburbia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #17
59. By the way, I'd be happy if Obama already had the nomination.
I'm sticking by my girl Hillary till she drops out.

But I'd be happy with Obama, Edwards, or Clinton.


I just think we need to change the rules in the future. NO F***ING Superdelegates.
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #59
65. Spirit well taken, but...
The spirit of your comment is well taken ("But I'd be happy with Obama, Edwards, or Clinton") admiriable even, but "I'm sticking by my girl Hillary till she drops out." is shading your comment in favor of a particular candidate.

I did my best to tear a new one for someone else who commented in support of a particular candidate in this thread, I at least have to mention yours.

And you were so close to being non-partisan on this!

btw: "...till she drops out."?

I can't be sure if that's a snark or not, but if it isn't it neatly captures the distortion the busted primary system has generated.
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 01:42 PM
Response to Original message
5. Damaging to Obama
It is quite likely Obama is going to pull through and be our nominee, but it's debatable whether this process has been a net benefit to his chances of winning the general election.

If he wasn't "vetted" before I'd say this primary has gone a long way toward that, but on the other hand it's been difficult to avoid discord with Clinton supporters whose help would be important in the general election.

The length of the process seems to be both a benefit (practice run, publicity opportinuity to raise recognition) and a bane (tiring, divisive, costly).

I think we could do better with out losing what's good.
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Mz Pip Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
7. If it were up to me
but it's not, I would like to see maybe 4 primary days that are rotated each election season separated by 3 weeks. Divide the states into 4 groups. One group does not always get to go first. Do away with this "Iowa must me first!"

Deciding on a candidate takes too long, costs too much money and is entirely too messy.

I'd like to see the candidate decided by the popular vote.

I'm sure there would be problems with this system. Someone somewhere would feel disenfranchised.
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Exilednight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
8. My only beef is with the super delegate system. It needs to go, its time is done. n/t
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RichardRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #8
16. If we drop super delegates...
then we need to find a way to structure the selection to avoid deadlocks. The R's do that with 'winner take all' primaries. Do you see any other way of accomplishing that?

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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. Instant run-off?
Does anyone know what an "instant run-off" is?

Maybe that, or something in that direction could help.

For those who want to know more about an "instant run-off" check out this wikipedia article.
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RichardRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #20
29. Yes, instant run off is a GREAT idea.
And it works well with a mail in ballot and a single 'count day'.

Mail in ballots, instant run off voting, single starting April 15, allocation by state, done by May 1.

The allocation by state thing still has me stumped, though. Nobody seems to like the Electoral College, but it's there for just that reason.
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #29
38. Maybe you could weight the two calculations.
Just make it explicit?

For example: 80% national result, 20% electoral college result.

Figure out who'd win in each case and calculate a weighted score?

eh - may be too complex to get unity on it.

The trouble is that many people don't understand that the system distorts what a vote is worth - many can easily chant "one person - one vote", it's simple, it's appealing, and it's wrong.

Any system we have needs to be strongly weighed in favor of the national win for national contests. This is where some horse trading would help I think. (as in "Our city-folk candidate guarantees he'll put a country-folk guy in charge of XY&Z, to assure you your voice is heard." Sounds messy and ripe for pork, but how much worse can it get?)

Any strictly representative system that doesn't keep it's eye on the national contest is going to disappoint us all far more than necessary.
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RichardRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #38
51. For every complex problem there is at least one answer that is simple, elegant and
wrong.

The strict 'one person, one vote' position is a good example of that.
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Exilednight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #16
32. (S)He with the most pledged delegates wins. Forget 51%, all you need is the most. n/t
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. I'm apprehensive about 51% as the benchmark
There seems to be a danger with 51% as the benchmark. It seems to set-up the party for division and rancor.
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RichardRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
11. Change it, here's some concerns...

We need a candidate selected, confirmed, in place and ready to rumble by May 1.

Under the current party organization the national party is basically powerless. The states have control of how each state carries out it's selection process. The mere effort to get primaries scheduled effectively this year has caused the MI/FL food fight. I'm don't know that we should go to a nationally run/organized primary process, but if we don't there needs to be some sort of an agreement about what the DNC can do, with all states signing on. That's going to be very difficult to accomplish.

The process of deciding who gets to compete for the Democratic nomination needs to be controlled by the Democratic Party. The standard needs to be consistent nationally. Once the hats are in the ring the voting/caucusing/rock skipping contests/????? should be open to all voters regardless of party registration. But, you can't vote in the Democratic Primary if you vote in any other party's selection process. If a candidate in the D process is sufficiently compelling to attract voters from other parties that's great, but 'tactical crossover voting' needs to be discouraged.

I'm guessing that if the national convention in Denver this year resolved to overhaul the selection process it wouldn't be done before the next election cycle. We keep what we have for now, but work for a new system by August-2010 to be ready for the next presidential go around. Even that could be challenging!!
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. So what are some one-line poll-like questions?
Edited on Sat Apr-26-08 02:07 PM by mrbluto
A new primary system needs to be a shorter duration?

A new primary system needs to be wrapped-up in time for the nominee to focus on the general election?

Not trying to shoehorn what you're saying into a poll format, but.....

well, actually I am.

Let's see if we can break the problems down into discrete chunks.

We may fail, but I think it will still be useful.

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RichardRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #18
23. Try these...
Maybe separate polls on timing issues vs. selection methodology issues?

1. The Democratic candidate sould be officially determined and other candidates either endorse that selection or at least agreed to shut up by February?

2. The Democratic candidate sould be officially determined and other candidates either endorse that selection or at least agreed to shut up by May?

3. The Democratic candidate sould be officially determined and other candidates either endorse that selection or at least agreed to shut up by August?

4. The Democratic nominee be selected by a national popular vote?

5. The Democratic nominee needs to be selected by an event that delivers a result on a single date?
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. It is tough to make a good poll on this.
There are multiple issues and a poll is not the best way to capture details and nuance. Please don't mistake my exhortation for "poll-like one-liners" as any sort of snipe.

It is possible to get some sort of handle on things with a poll that a mere post can't do however.
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RichardRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #28
36. Given the limitations of the DU polling mechanism
I agree with you completely, and I didn't feel sniped at :-).

I had a favorite econ professor (Prof. Ed Whitelaw) at U of O who loved test questions that went like this:

Start with a couple of paragraphs talking about a concept.

Make a bunch (like 20 or 30) numbered statements about what was said, often alluding to content outside of the original statement.

Post several questions in the form:

1,2 & 3, but not 8,11 or 14.

4,8,10 but only if 16

15,19 but only if NOT 21

etc., etc,.

I thought he was one of the best teachers I'd ever had, although other people absolutely despised his exams :-) It might be a way to get more options into a poll, although it might also be a way to insure that few people if any at all actually participate.

Ed Whitelaw's home page

Operating Manual for one of Ed's econ classes (He hasn't lost it, and it's been 20 years since I took a class from him. Yes, he really does run his classes like this.)

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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #36
42. Implicit pre-requisite
Edited on Sat Apr-26-08 03:23 PM by mrbluto
It appears there was an implicit pre-requisite for the class: logic.

Ideally it would go without saying that those who wish to study economics should have some logic under their belts, but it's almost as if the opposite is the case.

That actually reminds me of a line from Krugman's thesis which was about trade in space. If I recall correctly he said something along the lines of "As opposed to some other economists I've taken some ridiculous assumptions and supported some concrete facts about economics, rather than start with some concrete facts and support ridiculous assumptions."

In a way I wish you hadn't mentioned school - because it reminds me I should be doing my assignments due next week.

Alas!

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Tellurian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #23
43. If we had a Winner take all system..
and banned caucuses.. we'd be fine. Hillary would be the Nominee.
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RichardRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. Is a 'winner take all' the best option, then?
And, how would states like Wyoming handle the process? The state party here can absotlutely NOT afford to run a statewide primary up to standards, the state's too wide, there aren't enough people and there's no infrastructure to support it.

How about mail in ballots? No polling places, no staffing issues, mail in only. Oregon does it that way and it seems to work.
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #43
50. Congratulations! You're a __________ who can't stop sniping!
Edited on Sat Apr-26-08 04:14 PM by mrbluto
What part of "try not to shade or slant your commentary!" did you not understand?

For all the time I criticize over-zealous Obama supporters it's disappointing that a supposed Clinton supporter blows in and is the first to cross the line.

I don't have any authority to make rules on DU, but let me point out that there's no post from an Obama supporter that patently disregards my request.

Given that DU is full of sock-puppets I'm not even sure we can attribute your lack of comprehension to one side or the other. It's enough to point out that you, Tellurian, could not manage to respect the purpose of this thread.

Hopefully people will remember the name "Tellurian" and associate it with a certain style. (and lack of class.)
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #11
21. I agree that we can't change it this time.
Edited on Sat Apr-26-08 02:13 PM by mrbluto
That would be way too messy and cause a fight - limbaugh would end up with the riot he drools for.

But the iron is hot - we could have a better system in the future.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
12. Replaced.
I'd like to see this:

100% public financing, with no outside campaigning of any kind allowed. In other words, a completely equal track from a financial standpoint.

No more corporate network debates; debates organized and run by state party organizations, televised on public tv or CSPAN. Those debates to guarantee that all candidates answer all questions, and that all candidates get equal talk time.

No more caucuses.

All primary ballots done by mail. One national "counting day" after the last polls in the last state close, with no ballots counted until that time.

Hand-counted ballots.

No super delegates.

Add to that a new national fairness doctrine, guaranteeing equal and NEUTRAL air time for both.
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RichardRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. I like the mail in ballots with one national counting day idea.
Would it still be a state by state vote, or a national vote?

The problem with the national vote approach is the concentration of power in the big urban centers. Those of us in lightly populated states (I live in Wyoming) already feel in danger of becoming colonies again - if it were to become a national popular vote the country would fracture along those lines pretty badly.

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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. It can still be state by state.
Edited on Sat Apr-26-08 02:11 PM by LWolf
If you take away the "early" state's counts, so that states further down the line aren't impacted, you'd get a more honest result, imo.

The mail in option also minimizes the frenzy over "exit polling." Since nobody is "exiting," lol.

We already do ALL of our voting by mail in Oregon, so it seems like a logical solution to me. ;)
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RichardRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #19
25. I was born in Oregon and still consider it home...
The rest of my family still lives there. I'm looking forward to moving back in the next few years.

Mail in voting is a great way to do it. Oregon seems to have addressed security issues; what are your thoughts on that? Doesn't Oregon have Motor Voter, too?

Oregon's land use planning may be messy for folks living there, but compared to Wyoming it's light years ahead.

The Death with Dignity Act is probably one of the most complex and difficult choices a state has every addressed. To have passed, it, reaffirmed it and defended it was a great accomlishment.

Any state university with the guts to be known as the 'Fighting Ducks' deserves respect :-). (I'm a Duck, I went back to school there in the 80's.)

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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #25
30. I work with both Beavers and Ducks.
Edited on Sat Apr-26-08 02:43 PM by LWolf
Let me tell you, it can be highly entertaining when the feathers fly and the tails slap around here. ;)

If you don't get your ballot mailed on time, there are several places around the community to drop it off. No showing registration, or anything else; just a drop box. My closes drop box is at the public library, and I used it last year. I spent so long making up my mind about one issue that I didn't get it mailed.

Security is, of course, always an issue. Still, the system seems to be working well here. It seems easier to secure paper ballots than it does to secure closed corporate software systems, anyway.
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #25
31. Mail-in voting could be good.
There could be some risk of manipulation, but there are ways to control and avoid that.

I think mail-in might be the most practical way to hold the primaries.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #31
53. It's certainly worth looking at. n/t
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #14
22. I see the challenge you point out.
There's a difference between what the national opinion would render, and what the national opinion run through the filter of the electoral college.

I'd tend to agree with what I see as your point:

A critical part of the primary's purpose is to pick someone who can win the GE, but without disenfranchising those in non-urban areas. We might win for a while with the Bos-NY-Wash&Cal party, but couldn't honestly call ourselves national, and eventually the chickens would come home to roost.
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RichardRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. Yes, well stated...
Those of us in states where energy is produced, forests managed, crops are grown and national parks are set aside will always have fewer people, but we feel like we contribute, and we want to be heard.

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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #14
63. What do you think of how the states are drawn?
This seems to be some of the problem.

It seems some should be divided (California) and some merged (N & S. Dakota for instance).

You point out the risk of concentration of power and I agree that people who live in lightly populated areas shouldn't be treated like colonists.

But there's a problem that's cropped up: Power is cheaper to buy in lightly populated states. People with money figured out at some point that dollar for dollar you get more political influence in a lightly populated state. As part of the drive toward regulatory capture these states have had their politics distorted by money. What is practical in a low density area is a crippling burden in a high density area.

Let's look at a mild instance: Speed limits.

In a rural area on a straight road it's practical to go 90, 100, or more miles an hour - certainly sucks to be stuck going 55mph. Can't really do that in New Jersey and not just because there's no place to do it. In a rural area you can see a reckless jerk miles off in the distance - in Jersey they could hop onto the highway from any of a dozen exits. There may be the same number of idiots per capita, but in high density situations you're assured of meeting one every day, if not every few hours, as opposed to once every few weeks. There's also an anonymity factor. If you meet only ten new people a week it's easy to keep track of them and make a unhurried assessment. Not so in a high density area - a clerk at convenience store may handle 100 people in an hour. In a rural area if you violate the law again and again it's likely to be the same patrol officer, or a buddy he has coffee with, that will be noticing your behavior. It gives a vastly different cast to traffic law enforcement.

Anyway, what I mean to point out is that any system we have money will try to game. If there's any vote strength per person differentials then we can be assured money will be all over it like...

  1. ...lint on a sweater
  2. ...fleas on a dog
  3. ...a monkey on our backs
  4. ...like green on broccoli
  5. ...a tape worm on in an explorer's gut
  6. ...a harmonica on - eh, you get the picture. I was having a bit too much fun there.


It's a whole other can of worms, but there's more than the primary system that needs repair.

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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
15. End the Iowa/New Hampshire oligopoly.
Ethanol anyone? Every candidate of both parties commits to it, because to do otherwise is suicide. Think about that next time you pay five bucks for a box of cereal.

What is more, the I/NH axis privileges organization in two highly unrepresentative states over nationwide appeal. Add to that the highly undemocratic nature of caucuses, and you can easily end up with a candidate who appeals to activists in some small corner of the country but is electoral poison everywhere else.

Because of this, we always eliminate the best candidates right away and end up with the most blandly inoffensive. It happened in 2004--we could have had Dean, Clark, or Edwards but instead ended up with Kerry. It happened again this time.

We need to rotate the early contests and ditch caucuses. That would make a good start. Then, of course, we take on the corporate funding of elections...
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Duke Newcombe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
24. Superdelegates are undemocratic.
Assigning "bonus" delegates on top of the present proportional system, with bonus x % of delegates awarded (based on the total available) for the winner of the state being above their opponent either in caucus count or popular vote by 10% or more, as well as breaking 50% support in caucuses or votes.

Somewhat convoluted, but less convoluted than the "Superdelegate" scheme.

Duke
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
26. Just noticing...
...191 views, 22 comments, 33 votes, zero recommendations.

Does this mean 90% of DU doesn't care about how primaries run?

There are other posts like

  • Hillary Clinton scares me.
    Started: Apr-26 01:17 PM 46 comments 23 recs 497 views
  • At Obama's inauguration....
    Started: Apr-26 01:50 PM 8 comments 6 recs 118 views
  • Vengeance as Campaign Motivator
    Started: Apr-26 12:20 PM 35 comments 11 recs 452 views


You all are here, but what the hell is up with the people on DU?

We run into problems like the current situation because people tend to only pay attention when there are sirens and fire and smoke. And then they all get into celebrity and sniping.

If people don't consider the nuts and bolts of these things they eventually get used like a nut or bolt!

This is what Republicans depend on!

They just start a thinktank, give it a few tens of million and have a bench full of guys who figure this stuff out 40hrs. a week, 49 weeks a year. (Repubs are generous with the vacation time to their minions)

We need to ask both our party what they're going to do about the primary system and hold them to it!

We should point out to other DUers that governance is not a fashion show or an episode of Survivor, thet they might want to think a little hard about what they pay attention to!

Grrrrr.
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RichardRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #26
37. I gave you one!
This is actually one of the most interesting, productive and civil threads I've every participated in on this board. Are you sure you're not in the wrong place?
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. Oh - I am in the wrong place.
I'm actually breaking a resolution never to visit this board again, but in typical liberal fashion I wanted to give my fellow citizens a chance to step up to the plate.

I'm a bit disgusted with how I, as an edwards supporter, was treated.

I don't think he's owed the nomination or anything, but the way his candidacy got treated on here virtually assured that we didn't talk about the issues. It was all hair-cuts and hedge-funds. I knew it was a long shot for him to get the nomination, but I was very disappointed that people basically refused to discuss anything of substance. Still do.

At risk of the flak I'll catch for saying so I'd say the character of most of the discussion on DU makes Karl Rove very pleased.
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #37
46. Perhaps I'm on the vast Ignore/Let it sink list
Perhaps I'm on the vast Ignore/Let it sink list.

I'm not alway so nice. Sometimes I've been so frustrated with people's dead-set opinion which they offer without any sort of support I've tried to "shock" them into actually engaging in discussion.

Many people treat a discussion forum like a grafitti tag-wall and merely go "My guy good - your guy bad!" in all it's variations. There's a crop of people who, however much they despise the Bush/Rove/Cheney administration, have taken their tactics and spirit to heart.

Depressing really.

The character of politics, while no where near unsullied as it was, has taken a big lurching step toward being a massive busy box bolted to the side of a crib and intended to distract "free" citizens while they slave and starve (and squable amongst themselves) at the whim of a select few.

Did I forget to mention depressing?
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RichardRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. Lucky for me...
I went through a long rough patch years ago. Full scale breakdown, treatment, meds, the whole nine yards. Now I take 20 mg of vitamin P every day and, bingo, I can come to DU regularly and just get upset and melancholy, without danger of full on depression!

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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #47
52. Good to hear....
...that that rough patch is behind you. Glad you're here to tell about it.

DU is actually an infuriating distraction for me.

It's a reminder (a sad one) of just how little separates the bulk of the Democratic Party from the supposed bad guys, how little influence regular people have, and how rare it is for people to really think about the challenges this country (and the world) faces.
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Life Long Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
33. 6 weeks without a primary state is messed up. n/t
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. So the one liner would be...
...a new primary system would not have gaps in it's event schedule?
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Life Long Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #35
49. Yeah, less lengthy gaps in between primary states
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rock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 03:11 PM
Response to Original message
40. Well it is ironic
The situation we have now is just what the super-delegates were created to solve. And yet we have such intense rivalry between the factions of the party that however they decide we're going to have some mighty unhappy people. Maybe we should come up with a new way to dispose of this problem (next time around - we're stuck with the rules this time).
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Arkansas Granny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
41. I would favor each state holding primaries instead of caucuses.
It would appear that in the caucus states fewer voters have control over the allocation of delegates than in primary states. The limited number of hours available to caucus goers could give one segment of the population a bigger voice in the outcome than others. It could be harder for working people, older voters and those with small children to arrange to attend a caucus whereas polls are generally open long enough for most who wish to vote to do so.

These tables illustrate the voting percentages between primary voters and those who attend caucuses.

http://elections.gmu.edu/Voter_Turnout_2008_Primaries.h...
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RichardRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #41
44. Part of the reason for caucuses...
at least in states like Wyoming, is purely a cost issue. We're a big state, with very few people. For the state party to hold a solid primary with widely available polling places, secure voting and verified counts would be really expensive. In my local caucus many people drove in from 50 and 60 miles away, and some further, to participate.

If we're not going to have caucuses, I'd have to go strongly for vote by mail.

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ecdab Donating Member (834 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 04:02 PM
Response to Original message
48. I actually like the Texas system.
Everybody gets their say, but the campaign that has the most motivated and organized supporters gets a bonus (and when you are looking for somebody to run against the GOP, those things matter).

I'd also would like to see a rotation in terms of the order so that nobody always goes first or second or third - but every gets their shot at being first and second and third. I do like that Primaries are spread out - but I didn't like the Super Super Tuesday idea - that really kills lesser know candidates that have yet to pick up financing. However, the 6 week delay to PA was far to long. I'd like see one primary a week for the first month, and 2 to 4 primaries (held in the same region - to give candidates a chance to get their message out cost effectively and run them on the ground as opposed to only on the air) a week there after.
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RichardRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #48
55. I like Texas, too.
Mostly because it's so Byzantine that no one understands it well enough to game it effectively, at least I can't tell if they do or not...

All snark aside, I like your point about it being a modified primary that gives everyone a vote and then awards bonus points for enthusiasm.

Another post up there someplace suggested that we have four designated dates (I think it was four?). Groups of states vote on each of those four dates, and the states in each group rotates for each election cycle.

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ecdab Donating Member (834 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #55
58. I have thought about the idea of 4 or so groups of states voting in a
rotation, and really concluded that I don't like the idea. I think it would take opportunities away from candidates that don't have the money and/or name recognition when the first group of states voted - and they would never be able to catch up after that. I'd real like to see the lesser known and funded candidates get more of an opportunity to talk to the American people than the current system allows (thanks largely to super tuesday) and I think creating 4 super tuesdays would make it worse not better.
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RichardRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #58
60. So, you'd prefer a single nation-wide date?
It seems to me that that makes it even tougher on the less well known folks. It's hard enough to make an impression in a dozen states, let alone all 50.
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ecdab Donating Member (834 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #60
61. No, no, no - quite the opposite. Go back to my first post
where I say "I'd also would like to see a rotation in terms of the order so that nobody always goes first or second or third - but every gets their shot at being first and second and third. I do like that Primaries are spread out - but I didn't like the Super Super Tuesday idea - that really kills lesser know candidates that have yet to pick up financing. However, the 6 week delay to PA was far to long. I'd like see one primary a week for the first month, and 2 to 4 primaries (held in the same region - to give candidates a chance to get their message out cost effectively and run them on the ground as opposed to only on the air) a week there after."
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RichardRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #61
62. OK, got it...
So compact the primary season so things get done faster, spread things out more evenly, and rotate that slots each election so everybody gets shots at the early slots?
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #62
68. Two stages might be a good idea.
The whole name recognition is an important factor.

Perhaps there should be two stages (or more), one based on name recognition. In the first round you could figure out who already has a heap of name recognition (maybe a cut-off of 5-10%) - they really don't need any more publicity, you let them skip to another stage of the primary later on. Then you run a stage with the low recognition candidates, devote some resources and events toward giving them a fighting chance of getting their message out and pick the strongest out of them. The winner of that gets to go to the stage the other high recognition guys got to skip to. This would make sure that there would be some new blood in the race.

The current system ensures that new voices step on each other, effectively nullifying their effect.

At one point it was C/O/E 40/30/30 (or there abouts) if Edwards stayed in it would have virtually ensure a Clinton win. Which I'm sure some would argue would be unrepresentative. (Me included)

It's worse for newcomers, or people who haven't been planning on being president from way back.

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ecdab Donating Member (834 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #62
70. Pretty much, though what I'm proposing wouldn't shorten it by much
If you had one primary a week for the first month, and averaged around 3 a week after that we would be looking at about a 5 month process - mid January to mid May. What are your thoughts on such a system?
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Toucano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 04:30 PM
Response to Original message
54. I would eliminate caucuses.
All votes should be cast by secret ballot.
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RichardRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #54
56. Are you OK with vote by mail?
Physically large states with small populations would have a hard time doing a good statewide vote in person primary. Would mail in do it for you?

Wyoming has sort of a hybrid - it's a caucus with people standing to represent their choices, but the tally is taken by secret ballot the balloting is open for an hour. You still have to show up to participate. How about that?
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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
64. Should be/reality
It should be made a little more coherent. My prediction is that in reality it will be changed, but not for the better.
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #64
66. First step: Detect problem
Change doesn't always have to be for the worse - it could get better.

It could!

{insert pollyanna about how smart and resourceful we all are}

Seriously - people get together and get stuff done all the time.

For example, look at Open Source Software. Who would have thought an operating system first cobbled together by a Finnish guy could wind up being the operating system that Microsoft's executives would wind up frightened of and tossing chairs around? One that the NSA prefers?

This could be one of those things. Maybe. Somehow.

A thing like that.

Yeah.
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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #66
72. It really
depend on who is nominated and who is elected. Thus, it depends on who's philosophy is considered "validated".

So, could be sure. Likely to, not so much.
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-27-08 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #72
74. We can make it not depend on who is nominated.
We can insist that both candidates commit to fixing the primary system. Then hold them to it.

We could also put other party member's feet to the fire.
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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-27-08 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #74
75. But the problem is what is "fixing"?
what would be positive changes would, I suspect, be in the eye of the beholder. It sure seems to me that Howard Dean and Terry McAuliffe have a different idea of how the process should be done, and how the results weighted.
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-27-08 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #75
76. I new someone would latch onto the word "fixing"
I new someone would latch onto the word "fixing" and I did my best to avoid it.

I'm not presently sure exactly what fixing would entail, hence this poll and the solicitation of opinion.

Yes I said solicitation. Quit giggling. B)
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mrbluto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 07:09 PM
Response to Original message
67. Apparently 90% don't care.
Edited on Sat Apr-26-08 07:10 PM by mrbluto
Six hundred views and seventy some-odd votes.

523 people looked at this poll and didn't bother to vote.

Three recommendations. 0.5% thought the question important enough to recommend.

Conversely 99.5% didn't recommend this poll.

The way the primaries are run is not law!

It is a mechanism with a stated purpose.

We can have it changed or repaired!

I personally think we should insist that both remaining candidates commit to having it fixed.

That will be one way to know who is honestly looking out for the general interest.
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New Dawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 07:28 PM
Response to Original message
69. I am in favor of caucuses for every state.
It gets people involved at the local level and makes it harder for Republicans to mess with the vote.
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GoldieAZ49 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
71. use the winner take all delegate system
and no super delegates


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Midwestern Democrat Donating Member (238 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-27-08 12:00 AM
Response to Original message
73. A valuable thread and I agree with a lot of the ideas put forward.
One major thing I would like to see in future contests is to reclaim the traditional start time of the primary season. This primary contest started way too early (January 2007) - I don't know what the party can do to control it, but it would be great if we could encourage candidates to wait until the traditional start time - September of the year preceeding the election. Having prohibitive frontrunners nearly two years before a general election is really stupid - it can very easily lead to a nominee who doesn't fit the prevailing political climate at the time of the election.

Other changes I would recomend:

1) Eliminate caucuses
2) Rotate the order of the primary states
3) Eliminate Super Tuesday and have a steady, orderly stream of primaries from January through early May
4) Some compromise between Winner Take All and proportional representation - maybe "Winner Take All" if a candidate gets over 50% of a state's votes. This would allow lesser known candidates a chance to compete in the early states, while allowing a clear leader to emerge once it boils down to a two man race.
5) Eliminate Super Delegates
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