Thursday, February 7, 2008

Post Super Tuesday

So Super Tuesday has come and gone. It was strangely anticlimatic - a day that was supposed to decide everything only clouded things up even more. This confirms something that I have been suspecting - moving primaries up in the calendar is not necessarily such a good idea. We had Super Tuesday because so many states wanted to be part of the process of deciding early on who the nominees would be. They wanted to be in that position because they wanted to get attention from the nominees. They saw politicians pandering to Iowa and New Hampshire, and they wanted a piece of that. But now the states that come later will be the ones that decide the nominee. As I've always said, irony is 9/10 of the law.

But I think this is reason to celebrate, because democracy is working. The process of nominating a candidate for president has changed in the past, and will change in the future. This is not because the process was flawed in the past or is flawed in the present, but because society is changing. Some states hold caucuses for reasons that I personally don't understand, but probably made sense way back when. But, as we saw in Nevada and Iowa, there are problems with those procedures now that we are in the 21st century. Some states holds caucuses on Saturdays presumably because, for many years, most people didn't work on Saturdays. But now many people do. Will those states change their procedures? Possibly. As I wrote about in my last post, there were problems for independent voters in California, and particularly in LA County. But we are now very aware of those problems - the LA Times had an article and an Op-Ed piece about that issue. People are not going to forget not being able to vote, or voting and then realizing that their votes won't count. They will demand change. My brother called me from Colorado to tell me that the lines to vote in their caucus were incredibly long. I'm guessing that whether or not to hold caucuses or primaries is now a topic of many discussions in Colorado.

One of the contradictions of democracy is that chaos is not fun. At least not this kind of chaos. But we should remember that we can notice these problems because they contrast with so much success. Millions of people did vote for their candidate for their party's nomination with no problems. I am aware of my precinct captain's problems with voting because she called me on my cell phone immediately after she voted, and she realized fairly quickly that there was a problem. We have the technology to allow millions of people to vote across the country, and be aware of the results very quickly. We also have the technology to solve the problems that we have encountered. But we must also have the will and the resolve to follow through and actually solve them. And then be prepared to solve the problems that show up next time. Because they will show up. Not because our democracy is flawed, but because we are human.

2 comments:

Gwennegaia said...

Here in Michigan, where our exalted politico's made us election outlaws, our votes didn't count......so, the Leelanau Dem's are holding our own Caucus this saturday......it will be fulfilling, if nothing else, to express our vote!

I imagine some write up will be sent to Howard Dean with our results, but at least we are exercising our right and desire to vote!!! Can't wait!

JohnTEQP said...

Hope you have fun with your very own local caucus!