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    Friday, August 26, 2005

    Democratizing the Primaries

    I really enjoyed this article in The New Republic. Kenneth Baer suggests that we change the primaries so that the candidate our party nominates is not effectively nominated by Democrats in New Hampshire and Iowa. I like the idea of a national primary, though I wonder how it would work on a practical level.

    For one thing, remembering the whirlwind schedule that Kerry kept during the last month before the general election, I wonder how a candidate could keep up the three-states-a-day pace for that long.

    For another thing, since primaries are run differently state-by-state (i.e. some states allow members of any party to vote in the primary of their choice, some states don't use ballots but actually physically line people up according to their candidate of choice, etc,) we would have to streamline the process, which would no doubt upset a lot of folks.

    But my major question is how it would effect turnout. By the time the primaries came to a lot of places, it was pretty much pointless to bother voting. On the other hand, New Hampshire and other such places would probably be a lot less likely to get the hordes of people voting if they weren't given special status.

    Again though, this is probably a good idea that will never come to fruition.

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