1.26.2004

Delusions of Democracy. Still?

The primary in New Hampshire is heating up. If you're an American, you really owe it to yourself to live in New England during an election year. While I care about politics, I don't really get wrapped up in meeting the candidates ... and still somehow I've managed to be in the same rooms as Dean, Kucinich, and now Edwards. In Colorado, presidential candidates just sort of exist in the media ether, but out here they are painfully real, shaking hands, kissing babies, doing the whole thing.

This points to one of the big problems of the electoral system. It isn't that New Hampshire has more electoral votes than other states (we're pretty small), but once the media gets a whiff of the one they consider to be the winner, that promotion translates to a self-fulfilling prophecy that can be hard to shake.

They call it "front loading," the practice of a candidate putting all their effort into the first couple primaries, and letting the rest of the chips fall where they follow. It is a riot to watch, but it is a messed up way to choose a leader.

And whatever it is, it sure ain't democratic.

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