Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Lessons for MN DFL caucus attendees

Minnesota is, in many ways, an exemplary state.

But not in every way.

I just sat through another Minnesota DFL caucus. This consisted of three parts:
  1. Presidential preference. Our candidate received 210 ballots, Hillary Clinton 88, Dennis Kucinich 1.
  2. Selection of delegates for the next stage in the caucus system on Saturday March 8th, where the real decisions are made. Delegates need to be able to take a Saturday off.
  3. Resolutions. Before these were presented our caucus leader passed a resolution that "all DFL resolutions" would be passed unanimously. I confess I didn't quite grasp what this meant, I thought it referred to some sort of official party process. Turns out it applied to anything anyone resolved during the caucus.
There was one good resolution. The rest can be most succinctly summarized as "give me and my buddies some money". They all passed "unanimously". I slowly grasped that they would all die a quiet death at the right time, though I was sorely tempted to add a resolution to "end the caucus system" -- since it would have passed with the rest.

Has any state ever escaped the trap of a caucus system? If any have, how did they do it?

Ah well, the key lessons for future caucus activity are that there are two times to leave:
  1. After the presidential preference ballot, which runs from 7pm to 8pm.
  2. If you want to be a delegate, after the sign up.
There's no sane reason to sit through the resolutions, that's what the all day meeting is for.

I really need to remember this for next time ...

Update 2/14/08: Caucuses are stupid everywhere. We just need to get rid of them.

No comments: