a delegate situation


Tomorrow I head to Springfield for the day.¹

You see, a funny thing happened to me a few months ago. I went to our town’s Democratic Party caucus,² and was elected as an alternate delegate for our town to go to the Massachusetts Democratic Party State Convention.

The way things work is something like this: each town ward gets to send delegates to vote at the State Convention.(Our town is small, so we have one ward, and we get to send 2 delegates, 1 male and 1 female. I don’t know how things work in bigger towns.) The delegates are elected at the town caucus. There can also be up to three alternate delegates elected. The committee chair also goes to the convention, but possibly does not have a vote.

I went to the caucus, and I happily said I’d put my name in as an alternate delegate, and I was duly elected. Unanimously. (Perhaps I should mention here that there were only 4 of us at the caucus.) A few weeks later, I heard from the woman who was elected as the official female delegate, and she asked if I wanted to go to the convention in her stead. She would actually prefer not to go. So, I’m being called in as alternate delegate.

I have now skimmed through the official materials sent to me (and you can see them, too, if you like, as they have a pdf version online), and while I have a somewhat better sense of what will happen, I still don’t really know. I suspect that there will me much time spent checking in. And much more time listening to some number of people speechifying. There will be some sort of vote, for which I am led to believe that my vote will count (or at least be counted). I suspect there will be vast quantities of campaign materials distributed.

So, tomorrow I will be hitching a ride to the convention with the other delegate and the town committee chair, and I will learn more about what all of this means.³

¹ Okay, not that Springfield. At least I don’t think so. My geography is a bit fuzzy.
² I’d thought it was the town’s first Democratic caucus, but it turns out that it was the first one organized by these particular committee members. So when they said at various times things like “this is our first time doing this,” I interpreted that incorrectly. I’m not sure how many previous caucuses there have been in my town.
³ Does this mean I will have increased conventional wisdom? You see, I can’t help it. I have this irrepressible urge to make convention puns. Would they be conventional puns? I like to think of myself as more unconventional.

(This post was edited 6/3/12 to adjust various things which I’d gotten wrong.)

image: Springfield from the Simpsons, found here.

5 responses to “a delegate situation

  1. Um… you volunteered because you thought “I have too much time on my hands”? But I shouldn’t actually make fun of you about this–after all, democracy is all about participation! I’ll be curious to hear how it works and what it’s like!

  2. Wow!!!

    At first I thought you were going to Lincolns birth place. That was stupid of me. Why would it be in Illinois?

  3. Why yes you will have increased conventional wisdom after today. ;-)

    I’ve never known anyone who has gone to any state or national political convention. I can only imagine that there is lots of sitting/listening and lots of swag to be had. *woot, woot*

    Can’t wait to read about what happens.

  4. How exciting! I bet your old civics teacher would be so proud!

  5. Fascining. So how was it?

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