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Thread: Voter ID Laws

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    Members of German political parties select their candidates through meetings at the local and regional levels. Maybe kato can better elaborate on how it's done, but from what I can gather the process is somewhere on the spectrum between smoke-filled backroom and the primary system seen here in the US. A much smaller, far more exclusive "primary", if one can call it that.
    In American parlance those are called caucuses. They're still used, mostly at a local level via precinct committeemembers for vacancies or ballot openings where no one ran. It's right now a Democratic Party mandate telling all their state parties to get rid of all these at the presidential level because it's viewed as un-democratic. The Republicans are being told by Trump to do the same as well. Pretty much we're heading into a future with no party registration and counting on the honor system to keep voters that solidly back one party from going over to the other and hijacking candidate selection when their own party's race is uncontested. The 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries are going to have a lot of Trump supporters voting in it, in other words.
    Last edited by rj1; 10 Aug 18, at 15:39.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    Members of German political parties select their candidates through meetings at the local and regional levels. Maybe kato can better elaborate on how it's done, but from what I can gather the process is somewhere on the spectrum between smoke-filled backroom and the primary system seen here in the US.
    The official electoral law mandates that:
    • candidates are elected by either a caucus of all party members or by delegates elected by all party members
      • these elections take place at voting district level or may take place in a combined election for multiple voting districts if the voting districts cross political district borders (e.g. if a city has four voting districts the candidates for all four may be voted on at a single caucus)
      • these elections have to be held with secret votes (i.e. no "let's put up your hands who's for this guy" like they do in Switzerland)
      • these elections may be held at most 16 months before the election the candidate is selected for, elections for delegates that will elect a candidate may take place 3 months earlier.
    • candidates agree to being a candidate
      • candidates are not a member of a party other than the one they run for (but can also not be a member of the party they run for)
      • candidates are nominated by a party member
      • candidates are "given sufficient time to present themselves and their program to the electing group"
    • the result of a candidate election may be vetoed by the state party chairman
      • in this case the candidate election is repeated (once)
      • the results of the second election are final and not vetoable
    • A candidacy handed in as a result must include when, where and with how many members the election took place, and the person in charge of the party caucus as well as "two other attendees designated by the caucus" are sworn in on the result (in the legal way).

    "Further details" are up to the parties to decide; that's mostly e.g. whether there's a minimum number of members who need to vote for an election to be valid, how to call in an election caucus etc. Oh, and of course the whole thing is organized, held and paid for by the parties - may be a difference to the primary system in the US, not sure.

    Realistically, there are of course ways to "play" that system - and the parties do that exhaustively. With the right-of-center parties, an election basically consists of a backroom-deal-drawn-up list which is then presented to a delegate caucus, and if a candidate on that predecided list gets less than 90% eyebrows are rising. "Top" candidates, i.e. for chancellor etc are also virtually always decided that way, regardless of party or political spectrum.
    Last edited by kato; 10 Aug 18, at 17:53.

  3. #48
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rj1 View Post
    In American parlance those are called caucuses.
    You're right, and I'm somewhat familiar with the caucus system. The caucus system is used in MN, at least as of 2008. I was elected as a delegate then from a Minnesota House district caucus to the MN Senate district caucus, and from there as an alternate to the US 5th Congressional District caucus.
    What I don't want to see is the Bills winning a Super Bowl. As long as I'm alive that doesn't happen.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    You're right, and I'm somewhat familiar with the caucus system. The caucus system is used in MN, at least as of 2008. I was elected as a delegate then from a Minnesota House district caucus to the MN Senate district caucus, and from there as an alternate to the US 5th Congressional District caucus.
    Good man.

    They're used in Indiana a lot because any elected position vacancy gets filled by a political party-organized caucus - so things like state legislature, county council, city council, mayor, etc. You do get things like what's probably going to happen locally where I am this fall and winter:

    Republican head of the State Senate is retiring in November. His position's next election is in November 2020. So a Republican Party-organized caucus will be held to fill the position. The one person announced to be seeking it is in County Council. So if he wins this caucus to go up to State Senate, another caucus would then have to be called to fill his vacancy on County Council.

    The only people that get to vote in these caucuses are elected precinct committeemembers, an incredibly obscure position that gets elected by primary voters only every 4 years, from inside the relevant boundaries. These are normally "if you want to be one, you can be", the parties only arrange contested races to stop certain people that tend to be gadflies from having a voice, although if you can organize, it's one heck of a way to ensure becoming a local party chair.
    Last edited by rj1; 10 Aug 18, at 20:30.

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