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An end to Party Conventions

Politics Party Conventions 2004

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#1 Delvo

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 09:42 AM

In the modern world, what good are these Conventions? They no longer serve their original purpose, and I don't see another that they've picked up in its place and DO serve. Meanwhile, in addition to the lack of "pros", there are "cons" that just keep growing, in security risks, costs, the shutting down of routine activity in an area, and arguably the temporary abandonment by many elected officials of their real jobs. We should just quit having them... or is there actually something worth it all about them that I missed?

#2 Ilphi

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 09:49 AM

I can't speak from for the American perspective, but I went for a day of the Labour Party Convention last year in November since it was right on my doorstep (just 6 miles away). To be perfectly honest, I agree with you; there wasn't any real purpose towards it. It's not as if new policy is being openly debated with random cardholders from the party who could be bothered to turn up. Aside from a stage managed media event, I don't see what real good they do.

(Although I did feel very secure walking around Bournemouth with an ID tag late at night knowing there where armed police on every corner with guns keeping an eye out for any troublemakers. I can only imagine how much that annoyed all the drunks on Friday nights who like to trash the gardens.")
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#3 Morrhigan

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 09:50 AM

Embarrassingly enough, I don't even know what the original purposes were. Isn't the current purpose to select the party candidate, and articulate the party's agenda? Or something like that...?

There are a lot of things in politics that seem pointless to me. :lol:
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#4 tennyson

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 11:02 AM

In times past, when communications and travel was slower and you couldn't get what was effectiverly a nomination before the convention the various party conventions served as a place for all the leaders of thier respective party to get together, wheel and deal and generally hash out who was going to get the chance to be the candidate for the party. In the days before instantanous global communications the convention would be the only place where all the leadership of the party could get together and communicate as a unit, planning policy and choosing the candidate from among thier number. In a lot of cases who was going to be the candidate was nothing like a sure thing when the convention started, unlike the current series of conventions which have only served to formalize a party mandate that has existed for months beforehand.
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#5 Cait


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Posted 30 August 2004 - 11:39 AM

Ahhh, apparently something we all see eye to eye on.  I'd have to echo the opinions expressed here, both the historical ones and the ones about the current state of Party Conventions.  They seem a waste of money and produce nothing tangible.  I admit I caught a few speeches during the DNC and will peek into the RNC as well, but in general I'm pretty sure that in an era of mass communication the conventions have become archaic.

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#6 Ogami

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 12:45 PM

Instead of a Convention, a battle royale where the VP candidate slugs it out with others who want the job.

Then a steel cage match between Bush and Kerry. First blood stipulation!

(No fair wounding yourself, Kerry.)


#7 Lover of Purple

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 12:50 PM

Ogami, on Aug 30 2004, 09:43 AM, said:

Instead of a Convention, a battle royale where the VP candidate slugs it out with others who want the job.

Then a steel cage match between Bush and Kerry. First blood stipulation!

(No fair wounding yourself, Kerry.)


Sounds good to me. Let the fight begin!!

#8 Bad Wolf

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 01:41 PM

I don't see any point to them either.  A bunch of self aggrandizement in front of an audience they've already got on their side.  Time and money would be much better spent with real campaigning.

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#9 Chipper


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Posted 30 August 2004 - 04:46 PM

^ And actual discussion of the issues. :p

I would rather have more debates between the candidates.
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#10 Cardie


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Posted 30 August 2004 - 08:44 PM

Even more pernicious, they are big, continuous parties where the delegates are wined and dined by the special interests.  They've simply become week-long, free campaign commercials and a background for influence peddling.

I remember watching Walter Cronkite do hours of coverage when the roll call of states was actually exciting, because you weren't sure who would get the nomination. Not anymore.

Nothing succeeds like excess.

#11 StarDust

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 09:01 PM

Well, while the conventions no longer decide who the candidate is, mostly due to TV and modern counting procedures, chads not withstanding, they still can make a big difference.  They can lose someone the election.

I have no doubt that the 92 RNC "if you aren't a white straight Christian male do what we tell you or we'll take you out and shoot" convention lost Bush Sr the election.  That right there, not anything else they tell you about.  When you freak out and loose half your base in a few days, you are doomed. Republicans (and now independents) in these parts still talk about what a freak show it was.

And I really think Kerry's big focus on "I'm a Vietnam war hero" is going to loose it for him.

So, I don't think they particularily do a lot for a candidate, but the sure can hurt like hell.  It's the one time you have the nation's attention, you'd better watch your step.

And, yes, all the parties are good for business.   ABC News has this thing called the "Money trail" and it was hilarious at the DNC, with them actually getting thrown out of places and all kinds of shenanigans.  I'm sure it'll be similar at the RNC. ABC started again tonight, although nothing much has happened yet.  There was a Lynard Skynard concert.

#12 Bad Wolf

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 12:48 AM

Cardie, on Aug 30 2004, 06:42 PM, said:

Even more pernicious
See this is why I love you Cardie.  You use these words...

I LOVE that word.

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