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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Caucus: Populist or not?

I'm interested to know the thoughts of the JAS members on the Minnesota Caucus. I got to thinking about this after reading something silly written by Sarah Janacek and Blois Olson (I apologize for my redundancy).

I moved to Minnesota from Illinois, a state that uses a primary rather than a caucus. There, a voter could also cross over, which led me to the dubious honor of perhaps being the only JAS member to have actually cast a vote for Rev. Jesse Jackson (I really wanted him to be the candidate for the Democrats. Really REALLY!). Besides the aforementioned meddling, the candidates for a party is effectively being decided by many who are neither active members of nor believers in the principles of that party.

I find the caucus much more appealing. I think it is intrinsically more sensible to have only activists being involved in the selection of a party candidate.

I'd like to hear from the populists - is that Caucus system populist or anti-populist? I believe it's populist by its very nature, in that decisions are made by those who care enough to show up. And for those elitists in our cadre, the power of any one delegate is amplified tremendously. In a primary system, the chance of getting a personal call from a candidate is slim to none, unless I'm a big donor. In a caucus system, as a delegate, my chance of getting personal attention is almost 100%. I, in my role as a delegate, party believer and (conservative) activist have the opportunity to influence the positions of the candidate. Given where he's already gone, I shudder to imagine Gov. Pawlenty running in a primary state, kowtowing to the average voter rather than the delegates.

Blogger ssc said...

Test for whether something is populist: does it tend to support the entrenched elite or undermine them? Caucuses tend to undermine the elite by offering a channel for organized protest. By counterexample, the gerrymandering of the U.S. House races every ten years to protect incumbents is not populist.

8:11 PM, February 22, 2006  
Blogger Air Marshall said...

In this State it is not gerrymandering, it is Ramermandering.

9:38 PM, February 22, 2006  

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