Monday, April 07, 2008

Dear Democrats

just for the record, the upcoming platform for our approval contains a plank that is a deal breaker for me. i feel very strongly this is a fundamental wrong direction.
What we want is to engage with candidates (the caucus system), not to be marketed to (the primary system).

my statement:

I have always loved our platform and I still do. There is a plank in the draft platform this year that is a deal breaker for me. Calling for: “Adoption of State delegate selection process where 50 percent +1 of committed delegates are a result of a state primary, and 49 percent are chosen by caucus polling” is a step toward using the taxpayer funded primary to register our preference for the presidential candidate to be put forward to the voters in November. Some might say, slippery slope, and I agree. As an open primary state the primary offers no way to know if Democrats are the ones choosing our nominee. It will be open season for the corporate-complex to market our candidate to us. They already do, but this will be on steroids. And in the process we will lose our voice. Another case where one thing is touted but the result will be the opposite. Until we register publicly by party (closed primary) we should not consider using the primary in any part. And even then, the legislature or an initiative sponsored by the Grange could change the rules without any input from us (Dem's). We could end up with a top-two Presidential primary.
Beyond that, this is the perfect time to build our democratic community. The primary moves us in the direction of the spectator democracy that has been so successfully marketed to us. We should be embracing the new enthusiasm, welcoming all, and make our caucus and convention better than ever. Respected members, who have been involved in the process for years, have great ideas about how smaller precinct size could help. I would like to see proxy available, if not to all, to many more. We have some great talent involved and if we attract the next generations this could be a priceless legacy. They are going to need a working, vibrant democracy and voting on the couch during halftime of the super bowl isn't going to cut it.
Dwight Pelz nailed it in his post caucus message.
... One woman wrote in response to criticisms of the Caucuses:
No one promised democracy would be easy. No one guaranteed that you wouldn't have to work for it. But if someone in Kenya can face down the guns, knives, and blunt force weapons of the opposition to vote, we can handle a bully or two. If a woman in Iraq can brave car bombs and threats to her family and stand in line for half a day to cast a ballot, surely we can endure a couple of hours of physical discomfort. And if we can't, we don't deserve to be there.Democracy is not always convenient, but our country is worth it.
full message
We should be working to recover and reinvent how hold on to our democracy. We have the luxury of many experienced, wise, long time Democrats freely sharing their knowledge. With the many new talented people who are coming to the process, we have a opportunity to make this a more perfect union.
This plank moves our party and our elected officials in a fundamental wrong direction I can not support. I will vote against approval of the platform with this plank.

and thank you! Sam Taylor for starting the discussion at the Herald

1 comment:

Dianne Foster said...

Thank-you Peggy! I'll be there with you Wednesday night.