A better way to select party candidates.
October 27, 2000 6:40 AM   Subscribe

A better way to select party candidates.
Instead of holding silly primaries that end up picking the worst possible candidates from each party, why not have party leaders pick the best 3-4 candidates and then have registered party members vote (by mail or at the convention) and announce the winner in August? [more inside]
posted by daveadams (6 comments total)
Everyone seems to like the VP candidates much better than the presidential candidates. Why? Because they were carefully selected by party leaders instead of chosen by a few early primary states at the beginning of the year. Third parties don't have primaries, only registered party members choose the best candidate. The campaign season would be a lot shorter and less tiring, the candidates would be much higher quality (hopefully, anyway -- McCain vs Bradley?), and the conventions would actually be worth watching. Fundraising rules might have to be changed, and I'm sure early-primary states would be ultra-hacked, so it's not likely to happen. But would it select a better candidate? What do you think?
posted by daveadams at 6:43 AM on October 27, 2000

I'll respond to your question in just a moment, but first, I'd like to thank Matt Haughey, the good folks here at MeFi, and Tim Berners-Lee for making all this possible. You know, this is a very important time, being that it's not only an election year, but also the last year before the alleged millenium. There is a lot at stake in this thread, and I hope the undecided lurkers will take the opportunity to let their voices be heard.

My 2 minutes are up. Aw shucks.
posted by ethmar at 8:27 AM on October 27, 2000

Uh, okay, ethmar. Metafilter threads ... can change the world! If we all concentrate really hard ... and visualize whirled peas ...

I've actually become a disciple of David Broder's longstanding crusade to restore the importance of the political parties. I don't think that necessarily means a return to the smoke-filled room, but I do think we need to lessen the influence of television and its handmaiden, endless money-grubbing, and increasing the power of the parties is one way to do that.

Ironically, today, party money is seen as "soft money" that's not accountable to the voters in a particular district. But if candidates were dependent on party money rather than their own snogging with contributors, they'd be more accountable, at least in terms of being able to work in their given legislature.
posted by dhartung at 9:19 AM on October 27, 2000

and visualize whirled peas ...

Don't forget "and Gouda wheel towards men", which under my opponent's plan would go to the richest 1% of specialty cheese shops, leaving Hickory Farms customers, like Francine Beckwith of Turd Ball, Nebraska without an alternative to the smoked meats and shrink-wrapped cheese wedges you get in those gift packages.

Seriously folks, I disagree with the notion that Presidential candidates should be selected by "the Party". First of all, aren't they already?

Also, that's the joy and the pain of being a democracy. I'm desperately clinging to the laughable ideal that anyone can run for President.

Joe Walsh in 2000!
posted by ethmar at 9:28 AM on October 27, 2000

Personally, I can't wait until we have a Silly Party on this side of the pond...
posted by Aaaugh! at 10:15 AM on October 27, 2000

The reasons why the debate viewers liked the VP picks was not because they were carefully selected by party leaders but because they were both afraid of being perceived as too mean or aggressive after the 1st Presidential debate. Out of the spotlight and on the campaign trail they switch back to attackdog mode with Lieberman calling Bush dumb and Cheney calling Gore a liar.
posted by gyc at 10:27 AM on October 27, 2000

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