Friday, September 26, 2003

Primary Education

So it has been proposed, and the Governor has endorsed, the elimination of the Presidential Primary in Washington State in 2004. And I think that's just fine.

Yeah, below you can find my support for the blanket primary system, but in this case, the Presidential Primary is a bit of a gaffe, and an expensive ($6Million) one at that. And, unlike the normal primaries, we have no great tradition of Presidential Primaries here in the state until after 1986.

Previous to that year, both state parties chose their delegates from caucuses, much like Iowa. However, in that year, the Repub Caucuses were seized by well-organized conservatives, who made Pat Robertson the choice for candidate. Other Repubs freaked, and we suddenly have Presidential Primaries.

Now, this upcoming year, the Repubs don't really have an alternative to the incumbant, and the Dems aren't even going to use the vote (Huh?). Yeah, the Democrats were going to use caucuses in February to determine the bulk of their votes, and then the last 20% to be determined by Primary. But the national party bridled at the idea as too confusing (or democratic), so they are choosing by caucuses, with the primary nothing more than a bit public poll.

Hidden away in all this discussion is the matter I pointed out below - the 9th Circuit Court has done away with our blanket primary. Killing the 2004 primary election (and yeah, its a non-starter) gives the state more time to craft a response, or even overturn the new ruling. Saving money is nice (of course), but I don't think its the main thrust here.

More later,