Sunday, February 10, 2008

Let's Get Political!

For the first time in my life, I decided that I should get involved in the political process. (Don't get me wrong, I do vote in all of the elections, but I thought that maybe I should be a little more active this year since Washington's vote "really counted" this time around...) Here in the State of Washington, we decide our political candidate choices through a confusing combination of caucuses and primary ballot votes. I'm not sure how all of it works as far as the mathematics behind how the delegates are chosen, but I thought that I would go and "make my voice heard" at the caucus. This is where I discovered that perhaps the political process was lost on me.

Saturday, 12:50ish, I pull into the high school parking lot so that I can be sure that I'm checked in by 1 p.m., when the caucus is supposed to start. So far, so good. I walk into the common area where the caucus is to be held. Alright... there's a lot of people there! On each table is a small sign with the number of each district, but they're not very easy to see around the sea of bodies. After checking out our condo on the map, I figure out which district I'm in, and navigate the room no less than four times before locating my district. After signing in and declaring my candidate choice (and why does the democratic party need to know what race I am and whether I'm gay / lesbian / transgendered?), I sit and wait for the caucus to begin. And I wait, wait, and wait. Chatted with a few people from my district, and I live next to some nice people from what I can tell. And again, we wait a little more... There were two people who seemed to be "in charge," and they were running around madly trying to get things going... which would have been fine if they weren't giving differing answers on how things were to be run.

After 45 minutes and a lot of confusion, we got into our different districts and began the discussions. Our particular district had strong feelings on the side of Obama, and only one person got up to speak on behalf of Hillary Clinton. I guess that I would have liked it to be a little less one-sided, but I didn't have much to contribute to the conversation. I was really there to figure out how this all worked, and to learn more about the candidates. At the end of the day, we sent 6 of our 7 delegates in favor of Obama, and apparently our district had one of the highest delegate counts of any of the districts at our caucus location, which was kind of interesting.

At the end of the day, though, I found the disorganization of the process frustrating, and realized why I'm not really that political... but at least I was there to "make my voice heard," which is all that counts, right?

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