Monday, March 05, 2007
My plan for Oregon's 2012 Pres. Primary
I understand the reasoning of certain states in wanting to vote earlier in the primaries. Living in the state of Oregon, I'll admit to being a bit envious as Iowa and New Hampshire are criss crossed by candidates big and small, with surrogates and sock puppets making the rounds and generally contributing to what must be a mad house of political theater if you lived in those states. Citizens of Iowa and New Hampshire demonstrate a certain sense of entitlement as I've heard sentiments expressed that they want to meet the candidate, to have them for coffee, to shake their hands... etc etc etc.
By the time the campaign rolls out of those two states and through the next 25 states to the Oregon primary, the choice for candidate is pretty much deterimined. Which means Oregon is lucky to get a candidates plane to briefly land in Portland, said candidate giving a half hour speech and then taking off for bigger electoral vote pastures.
Frankly, if New Hampshire and Iowa did not hold their events earlier than everyone else, their populaces would know the same frustration! So as a member of a small state (that makes big waves politically speaking) here is my Oregon 2012 presidential primary solution.
Oregon should hold the primary for the 2012 presidential primary on April 1, 2009. This would have several positive effects for Oregon and the nation. Let me list a few!
1: The candidates would have to declare early and often if they wanted our delegates. There wouldn't be any more of this namby pamby "I don't intend to run, but you never know" bull pucky we have to deal with so often these days.
2: Oregon would get lots of attention from the 2012 field between the inauguration of the 2008 election winner, and 04/01/09 primary. For just a couple of months we would be ground zero of Presidential politics! The fever pitch of campaign season would mean something for us... rather than being a time for us to watch from the sidelines as the candidates kiss up to some other little state.
3: After 04/01/09, it would be over for us until after the 2012 conventions. We would already know who our delegates were going for, not holding our breath for the primary season to play out and having our choice determined by some party activists 3000 miles away. So we have 2.5 months of election fever in 2009, then another couple of months after the 2012 conventions... oh yeah... then another frenzy after the 2013 inauguration. But you get my drift!
4: (here at least I'm somewhat serious) Maybe the truely absurd nature of starting campaigns so freaking early in the cycle would be brought home by Oregon taking it to this extreme. We are getting to the point of endless election season. The 08 presidential campaign started immediately after the 06 midterms. We have to bring some sanity to this process, because this has gotten out of hand. I truly envy the parliamentary systems around the world for their sanity on elections: Some political event happens that riles up the populace, an election is called and a month later it's all over with, except for the counting and the swearing in. **drool**
5: Who died and made Iowa and New Hampshire the end all be all of primary season? It certainly is not ensconced in the Constitution. Nowhere in the Declaration of Independance will you read: "We hold these truths to be self evident. New Hampshire and Iowa must be first in primary season." (Our fouding fathers would have scratched their heads at Iowa's termerity, much less their lack of existence to be sure!) By what right do they purport to hold this position in our politics. Ask me if I think Hillary Clintons position on the classification of the road between 20th ave and 68th street in Vinton Iowa ought to have any play in her nomination. Nope! As far as I'm concerned Hillary's position on the design of the new Federal building in downtown Eugene is far more interesting.
There are more snarky reasons to make this change. But I'll leave well enough alone and wait for the hate mail from Iowa and New Hampshire. The email is bhfrik@gmail.
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