I’ve been on about a critical difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party in past posts. The difference of interest is in each Party’s belief in actual (republican) democracy: the Democrats prefer to settle deals behind closed doors and out of the public’s eye, and the Republicans are not at all timid about having their discussions out loud and out in front of their constituents and American voters generally. One Party talks democracy; the other Party lives it.
Here is that difference made manifest. Iowa Caucus‘ table lays out, side by side, the two Party’s procedures for running a caucus. It’s a long-ish table; I’ll summarize the salient points here.
Both parties use straw votes at caucus centers to identify Party voter preferences for candidates.
The Republican caucus has no minimum threshold for a candidate to get a delegate selection from the caucuses. There’s no guarantee that the succeeding conventions within Iowa will use the results of the straw poll for formal selection of delegates to the Party’s national convention, but there’s no pressure not to.
The Democrat caucus actively silences minority candidates—anyone with less than 15% of the caucus-goers’ support can kiss his role in the Iowa contest good-bye: he’s disqualified. Further, those caucus-goers who amount to that less than 15% support are actively pressured to change their allegiance to another candidate. It gets…better: that 15% threshold and active pressure to change allegiance carries through to every stage of formal Iowa delegate selection for the Democrats’ national convention.
So much for the value of the little guy’s input.