Iowa Countdown - 7 days
Guest post by idiosynchronic.
[Ed: our own idiosynchronic will be sending us regular dispatches from the Iowa Caucuses for the next few days.]
Now that man has been reminded of the necessity of peace and love, it's back to our already scheduled broadcast of lies, deceptions, push-polling and skin-deep candidate profiling. In the interest of keeping it more substantive, I'll be posting short details on the Iowa Caucuses and answering anyone's questions through January 5th. Email questions to idiosynchronic at gmail.
The Des Moines Register published a rather good online animation sequence of the caucus process for the GOP and Democrats. It gives the reader a really good example of what both parties' caucuses look like, as well as how they're supposed to be run - YMMV according to the local party member. The Democratic caucus is usually chaos incarnate, usually in a gym or auditorium, run by party volunteers whom may or may not have a good handle on procedure; the GOP caucus is very sober, orderly, and definitely run from a group of people perched on a high platform or stage. The irony is that the results from the GOP are more democratic - if it's done by secret ballot. The caucus chairman of your precinct may decide that a roll-call or voice vote will do just as well as a ballot.
The Democratic caucus is specifically designed to uniformly weed out weaker candidates by procedure so even weak chairs can do it, whereas the GOP trusts the local chairs to be competent enough to squelch small minorities by rules of order. Ron Paul supporters, look out.