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OT Presidential primary elections and caucuses

Posted: 10 Jan 2008, 07:07
by Glenn McDowall
What is the difference between a Primary and a Caucus?

Hear it on the news over here and can't work it out :?

OT Presidential primary elections and caucuses

Posted: 10 Jan 2008, 09:09
by Jim Oblak
Iowa has caucus. New Hampshire has a primary. It depends on what each state calls them.

Essentially, they are the same. They weed out the weak candidates before the party chooses a candidate. It has sadly become an opportunity for the media to attempt to prematurely announce who the president will be many months before an election. There is an arguable harm to democracy when voters can be easily influenced by the votes already cast by their peers. This is why the general election uses secret ballots.

OT Presidential primary elections and caucuses

Posted: 10 Jan 2008, 09:51
by Glenn McDowall
Thanks Jim.

Some people like winners, so they vote for who they think is going to win, these are the voters this sort of stuff appeals to :wink:

OT Presidential primary elections and caucuses

Posted: 10 Jan 2008, 11:29
by Jim Oblak
Sadly true. It is easy to make generalizations about the intelligence of voters whether they belong in a caucus state or a primary state. Caucus folk may stand in a room and raise hands to tip off other hesitant voters to follow suit. Primary voters only cast their vote in an individual voting booth.

Either way, the incessant national media reporting makes it all as mindless as a caucus.

OT Presidential primary elections and caucuses

Posted: 10 Jan 2008, 11:35
by Glenn McDowall
[quote:770e4d9946]Caucus folk may stand in a room and raise hands to tip off other hesitant voters to follow suit. Primary voters only cast their vote in an individual voting booth[quote:770e4d9946]

is this a real difference or are you generalizing?

OT Presidential primary elections and caucuses

Posted: 10 Jan 2008, 13:15
by Jim Oblak
It is a little of both. The caucus is more of a group event. If you want to sabotage the attendance for a particular candidate, you can send in someone with an obvious contagious illness like conjunctivitis. That can clear out a room easily. :lol: The same tactic would not work in a primary election where there are no group meetings. One just enters an individual polling booth in various locations around the state.

There is a decent comparison/summary here:

http://www.cnhins.com/newsrollup/cnhins ... 00524.html

So as a non-US citizen, what is being hoped for on the global scene? Another 4 years of shenanigans like those from the Bush administration or a total reverse in a lot of silly foreign policies?

OT Presidential primary elections and caucuses

Posted: 10 Jan 2008, 16:07
by marcusstringer
From the Australian Point of view, the onl;y thing getting reported on here is the fight between Barack Obama and Clinton.

I personally would like to see Barack Obama take it out.

This would signal in a new era, with much different perspectives, I think, compared to what looks like a whole bunch of old conservatives...

Mind you the other candidates are not reported on over here so we wouldn't have a clue who else is running...

If I hadn't have found this link: http://usinfo.state.gov/politics/electi ... dates.html
then I probably wouldn't have known there were more then two people going for it.

OT Presidential primary elections and caucuses

Posted: 11 Jan 2008, 06:32
by Glenn McDowall
Same as Australia here in the UK the main reporting concentrates on the competition between Clinton and Obama.
I'd struggle to say who was the Republican favorite.

I'd be tempted to vote for Dennis Haysbert off 24 :lol:
These days the main political parties are so close with their policies that it really comes down to a popularity contest.