At first glance, today’s Iowa caucuses look like a model of participatory democracy. In 1,774 precinct meetings all around this Midwestern state, the process of choosing a Republican Party candidate to do battle with Barack Obama on November 6 will commence.
Republicans are hoping for a turnout of around 100,000 people. Anything significantly less will be a disappointment, anything more a sign of enthusiasm and commitment to making Obama a one-term president.
Over the coming months, till June if no winner emerges earlier, caucuses and primary elections are scheduled to take place in each of the other 49 states. Voters need simply register as Republicans or Democrats in order to choose candidates for the presidency, both houses of Congress, state legislatures, and a host of other state and local positions.
It certainly looks like democracy flourishing. It looks like people power in action. [Read more...]