At the convention, there were busses and vans hired to bring Kerry delegates in. At least one delegate with an anti-Kerry sign was forcibly ejected. While O’Reilly and his introducers stayed within the mandated 15 minute time limit for candidate presentations, Kerry and his introducers violated the convention rule and carried on for about an hour (!), with the party chairman turning a blind eye and later claiming ‘responsibility’ for the ‘glitch’ in the schedule.
Most important of all is the fact that the convention voting process is not by secret ballot. Far from it. Every delegate must vote orally, calling out the name of the candidate s/he supports, in front of all the other delegates and party officials. Anyone whose arm has been twisted is completely vulnerable.
Despite all this, Ed O’Reilly prevailed. His name will be on the ballot for the Democratic primary in September (barring any further party ‘glitches’), giving a choice to voters for the first time in John Kerry’s career.
Having seen as much as I can stomach, I find myself wondering about the fate of democracy. Party politics is killing democracy. If you think about it a bit, you may ask whether the MA Dem convention is even Constitutional. How is it that someone who has garnered sufficient nomination signatures under state law can be forced to go through this convention process to get on the ballot? It’s interesting that the so-called ‘party of inclusion’ makes it more difficult to run for office than the Republican party in MA.
A friend of mine in Nevada was considering a primary challenge to Harry Reid (a great idea!). All a NV challenger needs is to pay a $250 filing fee to be on the ballot. No 10,000 signatures, no 15%. Just $250 and the willingness to wage a political campaign. What’s wrong with Massachusetts, the supposed liberal state, that it can’t open the ballot like that? What exactly is it that Ed O’Reilly is threatening?