The UX of Primaries (except for Iowa)

By | January 4, 2008

Primaries suck.  I want to vote for Joe Biden.  A bunch of local yokels in Iowa voted for Barack Obama and now he is “unstoppable”.  Are you kidding me?  Who cares what Iowa thinks?  I don’t!  I want to vote for Biden and he has no right to withdrawn his name so quickly. 

Primaries suck.  The talking heads on TV just blabber on and on about how they are positioned and what kind of money they have or spend or what kind of ads they run.  Who cares if Mike Huckabee has a Christmas commercial?  I understand that its hard to cover news 24/7 on msnbc, but I feel like they NEVER cover news.  It’s just conjecture and punditry.

The talking heads made all these statements about what it means and what the mood of the populace is.  Give me a break.  It’s IOWA!  It’s like 1,000 people TOPS!  Who cares!  Who cares about New Hampshire either?! 

The whole primary thing disenfranchises me as a voter and a progressive.  I hate it.  I want a single day for primaries.  ONE day!  Not 12 weeks.  I want my vote to count!  I don’t give a shit about “retail politics” and how people eat barbaque pork rinds with a deep fried twinkie.  I just want my vote to count.

Will Biden be on the ballot?  If not, I won’t vote for anyone.  If he is, then I don’t care if he withdrew, I am voting for him anyway.

This is terrible design.  Seriously, I consider this a design flaw, like the butterfly ballot in Florida.  It is because of poor UX design that politics suck.

4 thoughts on “The UX of Primaries (except for Iowa)

  1. Ben Peters

    I disagree. The importance of Iowa and New Hampshire is precisely the small populations of these places. The importance is in the ability of the people of Iowa and New Hampshire to shake hands, visit with the candidates several times, and to really examine the candidates. It is a big responsibility and impossible in places the size of California, New York, Florida and Texas. If we changed the process to make a large state first (or to a national election) this kind of intimate assessment would be impossible. It would be replaced by sound-bite politics and reliance on the pundits.

    As for Biden or nothing – I think Biden has been examined quite closely. This is the third time that he has run for President. This is the third time he hasn’t made it out of Iowa. That isn’t just because Iowans aren’t particularly enamored with him. You can see it in his fundraising – that is clearly a national poll by looking at the number of donors and the amount donated (This is just one way to look at the fundraising angle – there are obviously huge flaws in this argument, but there is at least some merit in it).

    I am a huge fan of Joe Biden. In 1988 he was my second choice after Al Gore. But it isn’t the end of the world that he’s bowing out now. I think removing yourself from the process is a mistake. California definitely has a voice this time around. Feb. 5th is your national election, which comes after vetting from Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, Wyoming, and Florida. Giuliani is basically sitting out until Florida and then banking on winning handily in the national election. It is a risky strategy, but he is doing it because he sees a lot of support in the big states (with a LOT of delegates). Biden doesn’t see that support. So, even if he stuck around, chances are you would get the same result.

    Personally, I’m for Obama. If you ask what Obama has that the other candidates don’t have I’d have to say that it is support. And not just support from a single slice of the Democratic Party. He has support across the board. He is bringing Republicans and Independents over to his side. He is the only candidate out there who represents a change of leadership that might be able to bring the country together in a new direction.

    I don’t know if it is something Obama is saying (unlikely – I don’t think there is much difference in the Democratic field from candidate to candidate), how he is saying it (the “Hope” frame), or if it is more how he is being received (it’s not him, it’s us). I think the most important thing in this election is an attempt to bring us all toward feeling a new spirit of belonging. Belonging to one another and feeling a sense of responsibility toward one another. It isn’t “solving” Iraq. It isn’t a national healthcare plan. All of the Democrats have similar plans for all of those things. I feel that Obama is the only one in the field that can bridge the enormous gaps that we have among our own people. We must begin to figure out who we are before we can figure out how to address the rest of the world.

    As for Biden – VP would be a mistake. He is much more suited to be Chief of Staff or Secretary of State. But, I would be happy to see him remain in the Senate, helping mentor younger politicians and continuing his fight for progressive ideals.

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  2. Dan

    First, I want to take full credit for Barack’s victory, as soon as I publicly started to support him, his numbers have gone up and up. Second I totally agree with Glen. Fight on! Do people in Iowa count more than other people? Yet, those people get more campaign promises than people in other states. People should not judge their vote on who is the front-runner or who is likely to win, but instead who represents their goals and ideology. As for Biden, he should push his agenda and never give up, never drop out. If he is not invited to further debates than stand outside and yell from the curb (or from cable tv). The entire all or nothing system for state primaries and the general election is completely undemocratic and stifling to the entire spirit of voter equality. Split those who represent the votes according to the percent that people voted for them. If that was the way it was all along and somebody tried to suggest an all or nothing system, they would be thrown into a tunnel and forced to watch fox news forever.

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  3. Glen Lipka Post author

    I am not taking myself out of the process. As far as I know, I can vote for anyone on the ballot. I intend to vote for the person that I think is the best leader. That is my civic duty.

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