Let's have real primaries
by seattlegonz, Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 02:19:20 PM EST
Is there anything more undemocratic than a caucus?
In my Seattle caucus today, overwhelmingly for Obama, us Hillary supporters were older, and less aggressive than the Obama supporters. We didn't have a chance against the Obama caucus machine. First, the put 90 Obama supporters right in the middle between Hillary supporters and the undecideds. While they had been asked to move to the side first, they en-mass said "No, put Clinton over there." I tried to talk about fairness, and democracy but wasn't heard over the Obama cheers and Clinton character assassination.
Frankly, if our next presidential nominee is going to be selected by a small subset of the population I don't want it to be made by many of the Obama supporters I met today. (And yes, caucusing means that a selection is being made by a much smaller sample of the state than if you hold a primary. People work, have childcare obligations, are sick and infirm and have a whole host of reasons why they can't make it to a caucus.) Don't get me wrong, some were nice...but, some were awful. They can't say the same about the Clinton supporters because we were a much quieter and less aggressive group. My partner just wanted to help people.
Intimidation is a factor in caucuses. It's something the democratic party has to deal with which is why I want the democratic party to do away with them completely. The last thing democrats need when trying to build party unity is one half winning votes by scaring the other half.
People were lined up to change their votes and the captain just stood up and said "No more changes." She was going to change her vote from Obama to Hillary.
Not only does there have to be a better way, there is...and I urge all democrats to pressure their states to switch to primaries so that we can finally find out what the voters want.