Thursday, January 17, 2008

I Want You to Vote I Just Don’t Want You to Vote for My Opponent

Nevada is holding caucuses to choose delegates to the Democratic national convention this Saturday. Interest is high so the party wants everyone who wants to participate in these caucuses to be able to do so. Since hotel and casino workers may not be able to get time of to go to their regular caucus site the party has created nine at--large caucus sites inside casinos. Everyone was comfortable with this until the culinary workers union, which represents the workers in these casinos, backed Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination. Then the fecal matter hit the quickly revolving object.

A teacher’s union supporting Hillary Clinton, along with six Democrats, sued to stop the al-large caucuses. They claim the at-large caucuses allocate too many state convention delegates to one group. Now these people do have a point. They might well convince a judge to see things there way. But it is interesting they did not see the importance of this point until after the culinary worker’s union endorsed Obama. That makes it seem as if there real objection is not to the delegates themselves but to the person those delegates will be supporting.

It’s not as if this Nevada teachers union is the only group playing this game. Republicans play this game against Democrats also. Republicans insist photo voter id should be the only voter id acceptable in order to vote. Now this has the effect of disenfranchising poor and minority voters. These persons find obtaining photo id more difficult than do more affluent persons. Republicans, of course, claim the photo id is necessary in order to cut down on vote fraud. But research into vote fraud has found few instances of actual vote fraud. So one can conclude the purpose of laws requiring photo id is not to cut down on vote fraud. The real purpose of these laws is to cut down on the number of votes Democratic candidates receive.

One presumes the Nevada teachers union will support Democratic candidates in the general election. One presumes they will oppose any voter photo id law on the grounds that it disenfranchises the poor and minorities. But why should their opponents believe them. Aren’t they trying to do the same by objecting to the al-large caucuses in casinos? And doing so for the same reason Republicans insist on photo voter id; the fact the voters in question are likely to vote for a candidate they don’t support.

Politics: a game with one goal and no rules. And then we wonder why some people conclude democracy is not the best form of government.

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