Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Convention 101

The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) has a useful feature on the convention's website, DemConvention.com.

Convention 101 details many of the, well, "details" of the convention in August and the events leading up to it.

Interested folks should regularly visit the site for updates as the convention approaches.

Lesson one covers many aspects that people are already at least vaguely familiar with - the selection of a convention site and delegate allocation and selection (lists of certified delegates here). Lesson one does offer some insights into three standing convention committees - the Credentials Committee, the Rules Committee, and the Platform Committee.

The Credentials Committee "determines and resolves issues concerning the recognition and seating of delegates and alternates to the Convention." It will meet prior to the convention to formulate a report, in a public meeting that is almost certain to generate interest from both party faithful and the general public. (Note: the meetings of all of the standing committees are open to the public.)

Florida and Michigan, anyone??

LOL- should be loads of fun, but unless the meetings are in the Phoenix area, I probably won't be able to attend one. :))

The Rules Committee "recommends the procedural rules of the Convention, the agenda, the officers of the Convention and other matters not covered by the other committees."

The Platform Committee "prepares a document delineating the Party’s position on a variety of issues." The platform is then voted on by the delegates at the convention.
"Decisions concerning the number and locations of Platform hearings and meetings will be made later in the spring. Under the Democratic Party’s rules, any person may submit a written statement concerning the platform to the Platform Committee at any time prior to the Committee’s meeting. In addition, any person may request permission to testify at a public hearing and/or forum. Individuals interested in learning more about the Platform drafting process should e-mail platform[at]dnc.org."

Lesson two covers the convention itself.

The preliminary schedule (think "hint of an idea of an outline of a schedule") for the conventions -

Monday - convention opening, Credentials Committee and Rules Committee reports, and keynote address. (Note - the keynote speaker has not been selected as yet.)

Tuesday - discussion and debate on the platform.

Wednesday - formal nomination of the Party's presidential nominee.

Thursday - nomination of the Party's vice-presidential candidate and the presidential nominee's formal acceptance speech.

Ongoing - the delegates' days will usually start with a state delegation breakfast meeting (probably in the delegate hotels), followed by caucus meetings and training sessions. Convention floor proceedings will generally commence during the late afternoon ("late afternoon" in Denver time is "prime time" in the Eastern Time Zone.)

Chapter two of lesson two covers delegate voting at the convention. There's nothing earth-shattering here - the most salient point is that "pledged" delegates don't actually have to vote for the candidate that they pledged to support.

Alternate delegates step in if a pledged delegate is unable to perform their duties, either temporarily or permanently.

Finally, a candidate secures the nomination when he or she receives 2025 delegate votes. That total does not include Florida's or Michigan's delegates, so the number required could change depending on the Credentials Committee report.

More later!

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