Beemer (dr_tectonic) wrote,

In Which I Caucus

So it turns out that the actual reason I was unlikely to vote in a presidential primary? Is because Colorado doesn't have them. We have caucuses instead. And I did actually participate in one last night.


It was held at a high school 5 miles from my house and it took me 45 minutes to get there. (My guess is that this was actually due to an accident, though, and not the ten-times-usual-turnout for the caucuses this year.) Then I had to stand in line, outside, in the show, for about twenty minutes. The actual caucusing is a bureaucratically complicated procedure that consists mostly of people who have no idea what's going on trying to figure out which forms to fill out to apportion, via somewhat dubious math, delegates -- some of whom are totally superfluous -- to three different conventions reflecting our votes, the distribution of which was not meaningfully affected by the ten minutes of discussion between initial straw poll and final vote, despite how into it several of the participants got.

At least Colorado moved it up far enough in the calendar to actually matter this year.

My primary (har har) conclusion from all this is that democracy is a badly-engineered system that really doesn't scale well at all and has some very bad assumptions built into it that don't reflect the realities of modern life, like the size of the populace and the effect of mass media. But, as Winston Churchill famously said, it's "the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

So my question is, why haven't we been busy inventing and trying out new forms? This can't possibly be the theoretically optimal form. C'mon, people! Hurry it up! We need a better system, let's get on it!
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