Thursday, August 09, 2007

Primary Wars

The insanity continues as South Carolina republicans have “officially” bumped their primary up to Jan. 19.

As I said in this morning’s ‘BushWhack’ing, it means the nation is also very, very close to seeing a December caucus in Iowa.

Let’s review something quickly… Nevada is slated to have their Democratic straw poll on Jan. 19, the same day South Carolina wants to have their republican primary… so South Carolina will compete with a contest that was made to give people outside the East Coast some say in their nominee.

It also means that New Hampshire will move their primary up to January 8th.

Why so early?One word: arrogance.

New Hampshire’s Secretary of State Bill Gardner, the man who sets the New Hampshire primary date, has said many, many times in the past that he will set the New Hampshire primary date early enough in order to “preserve” the New Hampshire tradition under the state law that requires the primary be held at least seven days before any “similar election.” Upon hearing about South Carolina’s move, he re-emphasized yesterday, that the tradition is Iowa and then New Hampshire and not Iowa-Nevada-New Hampshire or Iowa-South Carolina/Nevada, then New Hampshire….

Can you see the arrogance… the arrogance being disguised as “tradition?”

This is a “tradition” that serves to give a couple of states an advantage over the other 48 states… and you may justify it in New Hampshire and Iowa, but the rest of the 48 states are sick and tired of it.

My thought, as well as Scott's, is that it’s time to eschew different primaries and conduct all primary elections (for both Democrats and republicans)… on the same day.

I’ll pause to give all of you time to either sharpen your troll-skills or hone your laudatory emails.

Yes, as it stands now, we do have a de facto national primary on February 5th as a plethora of states (click HERE to see who) have their primaries on that date… but it’s not an honest to goodness national primary where the decision is made by every state at the same exact time.

Let’s face facts… allowing a select group of Americans to decide whom our presidential candidates will be is not only undemocratic, it’s unfair and it’s wrong.

The U.S. was founded on the principles of choice… and it’s something that has brought a large and diverse group of people to our shores… and in allowing two states that, quite frankly, don’t have the best cross-section of the country, isn’t living up to the ideals of Democracy.

A Democracy is defined as “a government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.”

In the past few months we’ve seen state after state move their primary dates up in an attempt to jockey for position and gain more control over who gets the presidential nomination.

As it stands now, Iowa and New Hampshire controllwho our nominees are going to be as candidates spend weeks, sometimes even months, campaigning in these two States while ignoring the rest of the country… we’re a nation of over 300 million people, and to allow a scant amount of them, approximately 4.5 million, the ability to decide who will run for President is… for lack of a better word; dumb.

Sure… a lot of people will agree that there is something wrong with the current system but disagree about having all the primaries on the same day because, among other things, it could allow the candidate that raises the most money initially to run TV ads in more places in order to boost their numbers for the larger states.

Bull. Shit.

Having a national primary day is the most democratic thing to do… and it would ensure that every person in the United States that votes would have an equal say in who would get that party’s nomination.

The flamewar starts below…

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