Wednesday, February 6, 2008

My WA State Democratic Caucus experience

Last week I went to the Washington state democratic caucus here on Capitol Hill.  My neighborhood is definitely quite liberal and very, very gay.  In fact, I think it is so liberal, that you would be more likely to get beaten for wearing a McCain sticker than a big sign that said "I'm a bit fat homo!".

I have to say, I was disappointed with the caucus experience.  It is amazing that the system actually works.  The people assigned the "chairmanship", if you want to call it that, of a given precinct, are laypersons.  The folks running mine, precinct #2541, had never done this before.  In order to keep things running as smoothly as possible, the leaders had given out step by step process documents, as well as worksheets for the math steps required to calculate the results. 

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The most annoying part of this was that they had stationed a bunch of precincts in what is basically a cafeteria at the local community college, Seattle Central Community College.  What this meant was that you had 4-5 groups of 60 people crowded around in separate circles trying to have discussions and give speeches.  This really did not work.  It was really hard to hear anything going on with all the distractions from the nearby precincts.  Our speakers were regularly drowned out by applause and cheering from other groups.  I would say that other groups suffered the same interference from us, but our precinct seemed to be low on the energy side.
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Overall, people were for Obama vs Clinton by a factor of 4:1.  Our precinct elected 4 Obama delegates and 1 Clinton delegate.  Clinton hung on by a thread.  If a single uncommitted voter had switched to Obama, she would have received NO delegates.  This is definitely Obama country.

Our Obama Delegates:

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Me standing with our lone Hillary delgate:

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The math worksheet with our final results:

caucus 019 - Copy caucus 022 - Copy F

Finally a video of my experience.  If you are interested in what it was actually like and want to hear the kinds of speeches people made to "sway" the participants, check this out:


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