San Antonio Express News: Democrats should reform process before 2012 voting
Striving to unify the party for the November election, Texas Democrats delayed taking action to repair their malodorous presidential nominating process.
At last week’s state convention in Austin, the Express-News reported, Democratic leaders deferred action on changing the so-called Texas Two-Step, which is a hybrid process that includes primary voting and a caucus system.
The confusing and troublesome process led to presumed Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama snaring a slight advanatge in Texas delegates despite the fact that Hillary Clinton won the March 4 primary vote.
The situation led to bad feelings among Clinton supporters, and frankly doesn’t seem democratic. The problem was not with either candidate, but with the Texas party’s weird process.
Democratic officials have said the caucus system fosters more activism and party participation.
But it also makes it more difficult for working people and others who couldn’t attend a caucus to have their voice heard without being diluted by the process.
Frankly, few Texans were even familiar with the bifurcated system before the close contest between Obama and Clinton put a spotlight on the clumsy nominating method this year.
The caucuses may generate participation in the party, but they also leave thousands of voters feeling disenfranchised.
Now, Texas Democrats will wait at least until 2010 before addressing the mess.
The delay won’t be a problem if party leaders tackle the issue in between presidential elections.
But if they don’t adopt changes, the Texas Two-Step may trip Democrats again in 2012, serving more to divide the party than increase participation.