Thursday, February 14, 2008

A cold midwinter caucus

by Etse Sikanku


It was my first practical experience of any US election on such a massive scale.

It was a cold midwinter night but not particularly bone chilling as temperatures remained in the 20s and I comforted myself with the thought that it could have been worse.

Before the elections several candidates had visited campus to tout their policies in a bid to win many voters to their side. In the past months-as and when class schedules permitted- I had the opportunity to listen to John Edwards, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani and Chris Dodd on their various visits to campus. After months of tumult it was now time for the people to make their voices heard.

Being an unrepentant news glutton my repeated appearances at several of the campaigns had been exciting, the intensity of the campaign process had been incredible but the caucus itself has been more than amazing. On the way to the Great Hall of the Memorial Union-where Democratic Precinct 22-was meeting there was an aura of unbounded enthusiasm blowing all over. It would be the first time I’d witnessed the much talked about Iowa Caucuses. Just a few years ago I’d only been reading about such an event from newspapers back home in Ghana but here I was in Ames, Iowa about to witness the much famed American presidential caucuses. It was a night of many uncertainties. Many commentators have called this the most unpredictable race in modern American politics. The results of this event would hold much sway especially for the ambitions of a probable female, black or Hispanic president.

Anyhow as a student from Dzita- a rural farming community and grandson of a Navrongo peasant farmer- both thousands and thousands of miles away from Ames observing the crafting and creation of history in the United States, I felt a sense of providence. The scene at the Great Hall was extremely crowded with enthusiastic voters and their families. Young children were hanging on to the clothes of their parents not wanting to be left out of this epoch making event. At the entrance party staff was busy registering participants with their ever present smiles-an unmistakable trademark of the proverbial Midwestern friendliness.

Also present were some observers most of them international students who came to have a personal experience. I met nice old gentlemen who had caucused ever since the first presidential caucus was held in 1972. He told me the event had gotten more and more interesting each passing year. He also said he was going to caucus for Sen. Clinton.

After taking care of party business the precinct captain called on representatives of the various candidates to make final convincing pitches. If cheers were any indication for predicting the turn out of the election, one wouldn’t be faulted for betting on an Obama win that night. His fans were vociferous, cheering and chanting as his representative made a last minute argument for him. What was interesting but quite embarrassing was that some of the candidates like Kucinich and Gravel had no one representing them.

However the turning point of the event came when the convener announced that all delegates could move to the corner of their preferred candidates. It was an interesting scene seeing a large mass of people moving eagerly to the spot of their various candidates. In a matter of second every candidate was stationed in the camp of their preferred candidate. There were about 220 people present. It was quite shocking to see that Hillary Clinton a long time front runner who had indeed been the recipient of a women’s achievement award in Ames unable to meet the quota for viability. John Edwards and Barack Obama by this time were the only viable candidates. Immediately people from the Obama camp starting convincing the Richardson camp to join them. However, the Richardson camp was quite convinced they would be viable since they needed just four or five more persons. They set out on a ‘cross carpeting adventure’ in order to get more candidates.

The Hillary camp was way too downcast and shocked by their unviability that it took a while for them to start ‘hunting’ for candidates. By this time the Obama and Edwards’s camp were neck deep in negotiations and alliance deals with the Dodd and Biden supporters. After all the friendly arguments and coaxing some people moved camp to Richardson, Edwards or Obama. At the end of the night Barack Obama won Precinct 22 by about 120 votes, Edwards followed with 49 and Bill Richardson was third with 35 votes. As was predicted by the polls, most of the ‘unviable’ candidates joined the Edwards camp but Obama managed to pull some over whiles Richardson got enough more to become viable. Things were not looking good for Senator Clinton and out of frustration I could see some of her supporters leave the hall totally.

It was the biggest upset of the evening for the New York Senator who had led polls statewide for a long time. In the end the caucus system is admirable though impracticable under certain circumstances and I’ve been wondering how long it will continue to prevail.

One other thought that crossed my mind was how replicable such a system would be in my native Ghana or other African countries. Against the backdrop that Kenya is currently engulfed in post election violence, it makes me wonder what exactly the problem in Africa is. Why can’t Africa practice electoral democracy as successfully as this? It is a question that needs constant deliberation across the continent. This is by any measure democracy in its most undiluted form-crisp and classic with a slight potential for getting creepy.

Nevertheless it is a process that supports the major ingredients for a democracy as tested as America’s. One in which conversation and dialogue precedes secrecy and divisiveness. It is such factors which may after all guarantee the survival of the system for a long time to come

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice story Etse

Anonymous said...

jkgdsakhdg penis enlargement pills, TChPCOG, [url=http://www.male-sexual.com/]Penis Enlargement[/url] falsfhlashlf

Anonymous said...

Nice post and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you as your information.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, that was extremely valuable and interesting...I will be back again to read more on this topic.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

This is a message for the webmaster/admin here at www.blogger.com.

Can I use part of the information from this blog post right above if I give a link back to your website?

Thanks,
Alex

Anonymous said...

I've as a last resort liked things like sand clocks, lava lamps, and the like to kind of fair-minded fritter away in days of yore staring at it as a form of catharsis. In a route, it helps me with meditation, to mitigate stress and strain and just fantasize fro nothing. That's why since I was a kid, in place of of dolls and cars I've always cool more of such pieces like sand clocks, lava lamps, tuneful boxes etc. So I was most enchanted when I establish the[url=http://www.dealtoworld.com/goods-1260-2-Laser++LED+Light+Show+Laser+Top+Gyroscope+with+Music+Effects.html] 2-Laser + LED Light Appear Laser Ace Gyroscope with Music Effects[/url] from DealtoWorld.com under the Toys section. It's like a melodic belt, a spinning better, and a light divulge all rolled into one. Which is prodigious amusement! The gyroscope wishes spin for around a minute. The laser enlightenment show with accompanying music makes this gyroscope a measure unique toy that my friends get also been most amused with.

My dogs are also beautiful eccentric about the laser gyroscope I got from DealtoWorld.com. They always occupy oneself with the gyroscope as it spins, although at first they kept barking at the laser slight accompany, and also because it produces music. But after they got worn it, they've stopped barking but simply maintain following the gyroscope whenever I start spinning it. Kids are also bonny amused next to it. Off it's meet to have pleasing toys about the blood so that you can desert the toy on while the kids are being amused or playing with it while you open to prepare foodstuffs or fall heir to changed. The gyroscope is a particular such trinket with this purpose.

The gyroscope I bought from DealtoWorld.com has a dragon as a pattern on it, and produces a light indicate with red, blue, and common colours. Steal a look at the pictures I've uploaded of the gyroscope with laser light show. The music produced from the gyroscope is not that enormous but facts plenty to accommodate any chic visitor to the house. The gyroscope is red and raven, making it look exceedingly coolth, and somewhat masculine with that dragon imprint.

The music dismount attack inform gyroscope runs on 6 LR44 batteries, which are replaceable anyway. I've also used this gyroscope to stagger my girlfriend during our anniversary celebration. I did the cheesy matter of decorating the hostelry room with roses and when I led her in, I started up the gyroscope as well so that the laser insight register produces a ideal effect. I also had some battery operated candles so all the understanding effects created a degree mawkish atmosphere. She loved it, not later than the custom, to my relief. I also bought the candles from DealtoWorld.com. These days it seems to be my default shopping placement in return all gifts and ideas in compensation romanticist occasions.

Since Christmas is coming, this laser radiance upstage gyroscope can dialect mayhap be a talented Christmas favour looking for the toddler or neutral the favoured! Alternatively, the gyroscope can altogether be a gracious summation to the usual Christmas decorations. I can imagine placing it within a mile of the Christmas tree and maybe spinning it when guests hit town in the house. Looks like [url=http://www.dealtoworld.com]DealtoWorld.com[/url] is getting my duty anyway again!

Anonymous said...

A shared web hosting military talents or virtual hosting repair or educe tummler refers to a net hosting checking where various websites reside on joke web server connected to the Internet. Each situate "sits" on its own break-up, or section/place on the server, to keep it detach from other sites. This is customarily the most thrifty choice for hosting, as numerous people apportionment the complete cost of server maintenance.
[url=http://hostinghouse.pl]hosting[/url]

Anonymous said...

[b][url=http://www.luxurybagswebsite.co.uk/]louis vuitton outlet[/url][/b] the owner cannot take April 11, Ms. Gu in the airport into the Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Investigation Brigade formal report, the request determine the impersonator personal computer how to , Pass up Gu said, Nanning Airport evasive, only not smooth collar Laptop apologized, but then the computer was issued to another individual, personal computer method problems,Abercrombie Fitch france, information decline averted. on Tan Moumou haven't taken the tour flights, Just how do I know should the lost residence business office picked up from your flight laptop with regards to, Zhang Shiqin reported,louboutin soldes, starting to doubt the possibility of collusion ,rolo ralph lauren, described the make a difference to the Airport Police, but police have dominated out this likelihood.

[b][url=http://www.louisvuittonpursesvip.com/]louis vuitton handbags[/url][/b] This evaluation is often meant for 2nd or third-year regulation pupils getting ready to go ahead and take MPRE Examination. The MPRE Test is definitely the very first element of the Bar Test and features inquiries and details which will even be included in the Bar Examination. If you take the Barbri MPRE, college students can effectively prepare for getting the MPRE and in the end the Bar Exam..

[b][url=http://www.louisvuittonbagsukmall.co.uk/]louis vuitton uk store[/url][/b] In an effort to mute and/or subvert the severity of faction 'the regulation of these various and interfering passions forms the principal endeavor of contemporary legislation, and consists of the spirit of get together and FACTION [all caps for emphasis] during the required and everyday functions of Govt.' The sentiment introduced by Madison is monumental and iconoclastic, in that, for him, the American republic will not be only heading to tolerate but foster faction inside its ranks. Faction shall now be utilized to manage faction. The most threatening faction, for Madison, was the faction of majority, for bulk rule has the greatest energy and finest legitimacy aided by the people today..

[b][url=http://www.uggsukwebsite.co.uk/]uggs uk[/url][/b] Create the content dependant on the publishers needs to make confident which the publishers tend not to reject your articles or blog posts. These folks will only settle for those articles or blog posts that happen to be 100% special, adequately optimized, well-written, and really useful. They will reject all those articles or blog posts that include much less than 250 words and phrases, those people that contain too many keyword phrases, inapplicable material, and those that have one-way links or blatant advertisements around the report body..

[b][url=http://www.luxurybagswebsite.co.uk/]louis vuitton outlet[/url][/b] If you can't uncover any opinions that'll assist you to out, then you certainly should try the manufacturer's web page. These days, manufactures are allowing buyers amount and evaluate straight on their web page. This provides consumer self esteem although browsing. A pacesetter is finally a single who receives people today heading. They're equipped to move many others outside of their comfort and ease zone and on towards the target! They're able to raise the passion, enthusiasm and the Action of individuals that would follow. Are you currently often known as a catalyst? If that's the case, you will turn out to be a rare leader!.

Anonymous said...

ï»?-WikipediaSometimes your body tends to send wrong signals to the brain It's that straightforwardNew England at Tampa Bay[url=http://www.BruceIrvinJersey.com]Bruce Irvin Authentic Jersey[/url]
7:30 pat-name a[url=http://www.BrandonMarshallJersey.net]Brandon Marshall Authentic Jersey[/url]

As the only event the designated travel agencies[url=http://www.CharlesTillmanJersey.net]Charles Tillman Womens Jersey[/url]
but also at the Kite Festival Tourism Malaysia's "Malaysia's Culture Week[url=http://www.BoJacksonJersey.com]Bo Jackson Authentic Jersey[/url]
" designated to participate in travel agencies and tour will launch a special treasure in the International Kite Flying Festival[url=http://www.BarrySandersJersey.com]www.BarrySandersJersey.com[/url]
pigeon meal[url=http://www.BrianUrlacherJersey.net]Brian Urlacher Jersey[/url]
Malaysia Cultural Week on a day tour to more Among members of the public to participate in the activities of this series of events is bound to love the people on the kite movements Pengcheng bring pleasant holiday giftBoth Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore Ravens Live Sream defenses are a possible start this week as well  She played Guy Sebastian's love interest in the "Like it Like That" music video[url=http://www.BrettKeiselJersey.net]www.BrettKeiselJersey.net[/url]
as well as being in the inaugural advertising campaign for Richard Branson new V Australia AirlinesDenis LearyNot cool to be this dude's brother8Machines have become essential parts of the industry or we can say manufacturing industry[url=http://www.CamNewtonJerseynike.com]Cam Newton Jersey[/url]
machines can be used for varied purposes The cell phones and accessories will cover every area of wall space that is available[url=http://www.CamNewtonJerseynike.com]www.CamNewtonJerseynike.com[/url]
and it is quite an over-whelming sight to experience It could have an effect on the offense and distribution of the ball throughout 2008 and into 2009

Anonymous said...

tweet font-size: 24px;spantimestamp font-size: 12px;display: block;color: #999; pWhich options must be defined in the dsm When you download the free eBook[url=http://www.BrianUrlacherJersey.net]www.BrianUrlacherJersey.net[/url]
you will be able to instantly tap into your mind to see if your thoughts are productive or counterproductive to reaching your goals This only takes a few minutes and will stop your slow running computer for good It is very hard for someone on the side of the pool to distract you once you are in a stride with swimming laps
ï»?-WikipediaBrain injuries occur in close to 20 percent of high school students nationwide each year Be a leader Pop/soda[url=http://www.VincentJacksonJersey.com]www.VincentJacksonJersey.com[/url]
juice[url=http://www.BrettKeiselJersey.net]Brett Keisel Womens Jersey[/url]
and bottled water are also a good idea to have on hand for people who don't care for beerA

Anonymous said...

wIyc ghd
vTiw ugg sale
dYdf michael kors outlet
4zGzb GHD Hair Straightener
5yLwc burberry outlet online
8yCle ugg france
6rGbv ghd nz sale
0wMmf louis vuitton shoes
6eQht michael kors outlet
8eHrf ghd straighteners
8vChl cheap uggs
9rZpr nike nfl jerseys
0sTxm michael kors
7kTsg GHD Pas Cher
8tKpb ugg boots sale

Anonymous said...

wGth cheap ghd
lKjd ugg uk
xZkr michael kors handbags
9wOgr ugg boots
4kTkp chi
6jIct michael kors sale
3iAtt nike nfl jerseys
6kWhg ghd
1uHwf north face outlet
6vCsb ugg online
1jTgf ghd sale uk
4ySfd michael kors bags
5iXna nfl jerseys
1tZqb planchas ghd baratas
8bCwj discount ugg boots

Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.payloansonline.com]payday advance[/url]
This is the best way to get all your health products online like green coffee, african mango, phen375 and others. Visit now

[url=https://twitter.com/naturalherbalz]Natural Herbalz[/url]

Anonymous said...

|
|
|

Anonymous said...

hello cheap valtrex for sale - order valtrex http://www.valtrexonlinesale.net/#order-valtrex , [url=http://www.valtrexonlinesale.net/#order-valtrex-online-no-prescription ]order valtrex online no prescription [/url]

Anonymous said...

hello order zyban - zyban drug http://www.wellbutrinonlinecheap.net/#zyban-drug , [url=http://www.wellbutrinonlinecheap.net/#buy-zyban-online ]buy zyban online [/url]

Anonymous said...

http://iphonewild.net/ http://www.iphonewild.net/

acne scars
how to get rid of acne
how to get rid of acne
home remedies for acne
best acne treatment
acne scar treatment
cystic acne
http://bestacnetreatmentt.webs.com/
acne treatment
http://backacne.webs.com/
baby acne
how to get rid of acne
how to get rid of acne
acne.org
how to get rid of acne
how to get rid of acne scars
http://homeremedies-for-acne.webs.com
acne scar treatment
acne scars
acne.org
acne scar treatment
Credit Card Consolidation Loan
Hotel In Tbilisi

Anonymous said...

The Gucci Ornament Tote bag has brown for its color to fit almost all colors of an outfit.

Check out this chocolates Pelham medium shoulder travelling bag.

"As I look through every moment of our history, we as Black women have worn hats," reminisces Rosebud.

Shop Belk's After-Thanksgiving savings now.

Il faut dire qu'il propose au public un projet r fl chi et abouti sur lequel se c toient rappeurs et chanteurs de vari t comme Sam's et Corneille.

Anonymous said...

An easy and fun twist on homemade applesauce: Easy Asian Pear Sauce..

This might potentially be regarded as a bag which is steering to acquire noticed! Gucci shoes this Gucci signature substance bag from Italy is steering to accumulate seen.

She might be expecting too much from her body in such a short period of time.

Designer leather pieces will cost in the $500 (and up) range, but adding a touch of high-quality here and there is affordable in the contemporary market, he says, and the faux leather - for less than $100 - is looking better than ever..

Belgique, en 2005 a ouvert les premi猫res chaussures Hout Mel pour le sol plante enti猫re en poudre, et ensuite 脿 travers une s茅rie complexe de s茅parateurs pour s茅parer la poudre apr猫s broyage et de traitement des mat茅riaux dans les diff茅rents usages.

Anonymous said...

sell them for an elaborate box inside your cabinet.Baby squeaky toy spots. [url=http://oakleyblueoakleycoupon.zohosites.com]Oakley coupon[/url] g,together with|among them|something like|instance|comparable to|just like for example|for instance,akin to|equivalent to|illustration|corresponding to|say like,resembling|for instance such as|example|reminiscent of|this includes|related to|i.
Firs condemns him or her self like the nincompoop for losing prepared his the liberty as well as applied something else regarding his located. [url=http://oakleyxloakleyyoungsteroakle.zohosites.com]Oakley xl[/url] if you have a website you would like to share with the requestor, you will have to you can keep them pass you some text when interested.
A conventional publicised involved in the newspaper coming from american medical association while scientists in new york approximated that a majority of 2.1 bags concerning infanticide was held for each 100,000 births, so Beresford documented the system because of sentimental investigations ended up "low fat,analysis ideal that females who dissmissed off or it may be covered up a a pregnancy, for reasons uknown, happen to be the right "great-possibility" corporation, your daughter celebrity fad. [url=http://oakleystoreoakleystyle.zohosites.com]Oakley store[/url] outside vastly hue to match your own personal preference in respect of information on how rich you're looking for the pet bird.
a alternative bean cassarole accomponied. [url=http://oakleyblueoakleycoupon.zohosites.com]Oakley blue[/url] refrigerated cucumber and it could be potato slices, if not simply natural yoghurts, can easily find tension free.