The Corpus Callosum

Iowa Caucuses

There are only two interesting things about what happened in the Iowa
caucuses.  One, the turnout for Democrats was much higher than
the turnout for Republicans.  Voter turnout is everything in
US elections.  It will continue to be the single most
important factor, until we adopt a civilized form of Democracy and make
voting mandatory.  Two, a lot of young people got involved.
 Progressives have known for decades that the key to any
meaningful reform is to get young people to vote.  

I think the Internet has something to do with the improved
participation by young people.  Let’s hope that trend
continues.  Once they see that they can make a difference,
maybe they will make it a habit.


  1. #1 Lassi Hippeläinen
    January 6, 2008

    “…until we adopt a civilized form of Democracy and make voting mandatory.”

    Many old communist block countries had mandatory voting. That’s why they were always close to 100% attendance. It didn’t increase democracy, because the candidates weren’t nominated freely.

    The thing that I would change is the winner-takes-all system. Most countries use a proportional system, where there are several representratives per region, and the seats are divided to parties according to their popularity.

    There’s a lot more to say about election mathematics, but to cut a long story short, check out this /. thread:

    Maybe Mark Chu-Carroll could write a summary…

  2. #2 Joseph j7uy5
    January 6, 2008

    Thanks for the link. I’ve long been a fan of instant runoff voting. I know it is a complex issue, but my intent with this post was to keep it very short, since so many people are writing so much about it. No one wants to read another long post about Iowa.

  3. #3 valrossie
    August 19, 2008

    The Iowa caucuses started modestly in 1972 as a way to spread out the nominating calendar and encourage more grass-roots participation. This time they are earlier than ever, on January 3. The caucuses choose delegates to county conventions, the next step in a drawn-out process that ends in the spring with selection of state delegates to the national nominating conventions next summer.

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