Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Tuesday, January 20, 2004


Although it's meant to be tongue-in-cheek, the writer of Scoop: Stateside: It's All Caucussian To Me didn't clarify that our caucus and primary systems really vary a lot from state to state--but they're only a preliminary to a final election in November. Yes...Iowa is the first 'big' event of these races, but it doesn't really decide much, other than whether or not a candidate is viable early. To take the writer's analogy, it's not that anyone caucuses to, say, choose a national ice cream flavour, but rather, they caucus to send suggestions (in the form of delegates) to a convention to contribute to a choice. After the conventions meet, then there are flavours put forward from each convention--and depending upon the ability of candidates to get themselves on the ballot in each state and the district of Columbia, then they choose.

To be honest, I could see the appeal of the caucus system--those of us who vote in primaries often feel our voices didn't count for much because all the delegates (supposedly--they're really not bound to in any way) vote for the majority winner. I suspect that's why turnout is so low in primaries. In a caucus you have a more direct voter participation. But I could also see that it's more open to abuse.

Of course, here in Kentucky, we have a primary, but not until May. If you want an idea about how the systems vary, check out Project Vote Smart, which has a wealth of information on the system.

Strange thing is, we have a special election coming up soon to choose a member of Congress, the office vacated by our new governor. I'm already sick of ads, but I must say Ben Chandler sticks more to the point in his, whereas Alice Forgy Kerr relys on the 'I'm just like you' and the support she gave President Bush (personally, that means she removed herself from consideration from my point of view).

Oh, well...nearly ten more months of madness...it should be interesting to see what kind of chick hatches.

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