07 February 2008

First time caucuser

On Tuesday night I attended my very first political caucus. I totally understand the fever downriver in Iowa. It was a blast.

As in caucuses across Minnesota, it was a record turnout at our caucus. We (Abelisto, daughter #4, and I) walked the 8 blocks from our house to the high school where the DFL (democratic, farm, labor party) caucus for our area of town was held. It was a pleasant walk, the temperature was in the 20s and the wind was mild to non-existent. The only difficulty was that there had been a day or so above freezing earlier in the week followed by a day of light snow, so the footing was a bit precarious. I ended up down on the sidewalk after stepping on some snow-covered ice. Since I was holding Abelisto's hand at the time he also ended up going down. Oh, well, finding yourself laid out flat on the ice is part of life as a Minnesotan.

When we got to the school the parking lot was full and people were parking in the driveway and roads surrounding the building. Once inside we studied the map of the city to see which ward and precinct we lived in. None of us had done this before. We vote in elections, but up until now I have never lived in a state where people went to caucuses instead of primaries.

TheWard 2 Precinct 2 group was meeting in the outer room of the media center (library computer area). There were probably 35 attendees. The very first thing we did is sign in and cast our ballots for the presidential contest.

Daughter #4 asked some very good questions about some of the resolutions and I got up and spoke against one of them. It did not pass, so I must have been somewhat convincing. Three or four people spoke for it and myself and one other against. I volunteered to be a delegate at the next level. I will go to the county caucus here in Winona in March and vote and debate the issues. I probably won't go any farther than that since this is my first year. After the county caucus there is the regional and then the state. Both would be about a 2 hour drive from here. At the state caucus in early June, the delegates are chosen to go to the national convention. I think that would be fun, but you have to pay for everything yourself and that can get expensive. One of the women at work has gone to the national convention - when Jimmy Carter was nominated.

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