[KB] Democracy and the Parliamentary
Edappel8 at cs.com
Fri Feb 15 11:42:39 EST 2008
In Response to Jerry:
You make some good points, and you do so in a reasonable way. Let me
reply, though, to a few of them.
First, I oppose vehementaly what is happening in the Dem
caucus/primary process because I, like liberals across the U.S. of A., have gone through
one recent undemocratic and stolen election (2000), and maybe another stolen
election (2004, via Ohio). I've had it with stolen elections, whatever the means
by which they are pilfered. If you read the passage I quoted from Gail
Collins' article in the NYT---assuming she had her facts right---you cannot
justify, "democratically," what is happened in these charades. Just a little more
than 1 percent of registered voters turned out in Washington! Since more Dems
than Repubs attend these things, let's say closer to 2 percent of registered
Democrats came out to bang heads and vote. That's still an outrageous
abridgment of democracy. Heck, at least 20 percent of Florida's registered Dems voted
in an election that might not count at all!
Add to this farce the fact that Washington's delegate count will
reflect not the paltry number of participants in the caucuses, but rather the
population of Washington State as a whole, as usually adjusted in these affairs to
whether the state went Dem the last election. (It did, as I recall.)
Add to this double outrage (low turnout, with discrimation against
working people; inflated delegate count compared with the meager number of actual
voters) against the settled standards of democratic process the fact that, in
many of these states, anybody can come to the caucuses, register Dem on the
spot, and vote perversely for a candidate they would never support in the
general election. One participant in the NV caucuses said that's exactly what
happened in his/her caucus group. One Washington State participant said her
caucus CHAIR was an Independent who said she would not be turning Democratic, would
not necessarily be supporting Dems in the future in any way, but just wanted
to vote for Obama.
My state, Pennsylvania, has a genuine democratic primary election
process, small "d." We don't go for so-called "democracy" on the cheap, as
Collins implied about this caucus farce. We vote on April 22. ONLY REGISTERED
DEMOCTRATS may vote in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary. Therefore no mischief
is allowed. My wife and I registered Rerpublican about five years ago so we
could vote for a colleague and friend of mine in the farmland preservation
movement in our county, who was seeking the Republican nomination for state
representative. (Lancaster County is probably the most Republican area in the
state. LBJ barely won here in 1964. That's likely the only Dem victory in the
county, on any level, since the Civil War.) He had no chance whatsoever against
the party-endorsed candidate, but I wanted us to do our part on his behalf.
The upside of my Repub registration is that I get to chuckle at the proparanda
I get exposed to via telephone and the postal service.
Anyway, we'll be going to the county courthouse, registering
Democratic, and voting in this authentic primary for---guess who?
As for your argument that we are still all obligated to "come
together" and rally around the Dem nominee, no matter how fraudulent the process by
which he (and in this case it would be a "he") got that nod, I say "no," I am
not so obligated. Democratic process has been shafted once too often for me. I
will do my tiny little part in opposition, by standing up and shouting, "No!
As for my so-called "demonizing" of Obama supporters: I think I sent
an "I" message, not a "you" message, as recommended by the keepers of
interpersonal comm. theory. I said, "I can't stand watching and listening to this
guy," meaning Barack Obama. If you like him and support him, fine, that's your
business. Dramatism is strongly about connotation, to be sure, not just
denotation. An "I" message implies a "you" message. It implies moral accusation and
conflict. I can't extricate myself from the nuances of language and its
dramatic cast. I can only mitigate its "magic spell," not extirpate it (PLF, pp.
1-8, 119). I will just stand accused of implied vitriol. My feelings are
strong. I will atempt to "discount" for language. On that matter, you may
choose as you wish.
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