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Saturday, August 05, 2006

The endorsement process

I am not against changing the endorsement process. I have been around DFL activists for a long time, and to be quite honest, a good number of them really put me off. They certainly are not representative of the DFL party as a whole, to say nothing about the electorate itself. Allowing the most extreme elements of the party (and not just extreme in terms of political ideology, but in terms of everything) probably isn't the best way to choose the best, most representative, most electable candidates. Sometimes the party does all right, like I think they did with Klobuchar. Sometimes they don't, like they did with Roger Moe, John Marty, Ember Reichgott-Junge, Buck Humphrey, and countless other endorsed candidates that have lost in the past, sometimes not even getting past the primary.

One possible solution would be to allow multiple endorsements. However, if this were to be the case, I don't think lowering the threshold from 60% would be a good idea. Democrats tend to believe "everybody's a winner!" and "every idea is a good one!" which is why conventions typically have over a hundred platform resolutions to vote on, most of which are utterly pointless and serve no other purpose than mental masturbation. Since there seem to be very few people like myself who actually enjoy voting "no" on resolutions and candidates, I think that if you could vote to endorse any number of candidates for an office and the threshold were low, like 25%, then everybody who showed up would get endorsed, making it completely worthless. On the other hand, if convention attendees could vote for any number of candidates, and the threshold were 70 or 75%, then whoever was endorsed would show that they were acceptable to a large majority of attendees, and that would mean something.

This has been talked about in the past, and nothing serious has come about. It is true that the "old guard" of the party would lose a lot from a proposal like this, and they don't want to give up the power. It's too bad, really.


At 12:58 PM, August 06, 2006, Anonymous Mark Gisleson said...

And I like a low threshhold that just measures "acceptability." A high threshhold would still mean that a religious-like level of intensity would accompany endorsements, a level that would almost never be met by issues candidates but only by those candidates who "work the party."

The DFL needs to get back to the business of acting like Democrats and not some holier than thou bunch of insider gangbangers.

The power must always reside in the hands of the primary voters, because they're your margin of victory come the fall. 110% of the DFL insiders couldn't muster enough votes to beat the Independence Party candidate.

REAL PARTY ACTIVISTS WHO PUT WINNING FIRST would NEVER endorse the endorsement process. It's exclusionary, it's Maoist, and it's bullshit. It's what's killing Democratic candidates in Minnesota.

The DFLers could have shut me up easily before this year, but now that they outed themselves by endorsing Matt "my wife makes millions working for a corrupt HMO" Entenza, they can no longer claim any ideological high road. They're nothing more than the dupes of the corporate elite who have thoroughly infiltrated the DFL.

Twice in my life I didn't vote for a Democrat. Once in a legislative race in Iowa (I was wrong), and once in 2000 (I still think I was right and every day Joe Lieberman reminds me why).

The DFL elite don't represent me or most Democrats. They just, like the Republican elites, represent corporate America.

Not. Good. Enough.

Endorse everyone who's not an out and out Republican, or endorse no one at all.

At 9:32 AM, August 07, 2006, Anonymous AHW said...

As a first-time delegate this last spring, I was a little shocked at the level in which the DFL activists would go to cling to their supposed power.
I witnessed one-time party chair Mike Erlandson get booed off the stage for, get this, going to the primary! Sure, Erlandson hinted at abiding by the endorsement, but if people were that upset, they shouldn't vote for him. Boo him off the stage? I felt like I was the oldest one there, and I am 23.
I just never bought this call for "unity" that all the other delegates threw at me. What is wrong with competition? Primary battles train candidates for the general election, they bring in more mainstream participation, they produce the best and most electible candidates to the general public, and they bring media attention.
Anyway, after going through the process, I wouldn't mind a change to the system.


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