The Farkakt Primary

by Adam Fogel // Published May 22, 2008
On Tuesday, as I watched the Kentucky and Oregon primary results roll in on MSNBC, I saw something very strange: Chris Matthews and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz agreeing on how "farkakt" the 2008 primary process has been. For those who need a Yiddish refresher, you can look up the definition here (warning: it means exactly what you think it does).

This conversation surprised me because you never really hear pundits and politicians talk about how we need to reform the political process and change the way our election system works. Watch the clip above to hear their suggestions about making primaries more democratic and elections fairer.

Matthews suggests eliminating caucuses altogether and replacing them with primaries. He also thinks it makes sense to count every vote equally, as opposed to apportioning delegates according to previous turnout. Rep. Wasserman Schultz suggests using a rotating regional primary system as a way to fix the calendar because the current system left her state (Florida) scrambling for a voice at the August convention in Denver.

Having the superdelegate "elites" decide the nomination seems unfair to most people, but Rep. Wasserman Schultz correctly asserts that for now, the elites will decide the 2008 Democratic nominee. She used this conversation about the primaries to bring up another very important point: there is nothing more elitist than electing the president through the Electoral College. She should be commended for working with Senator Bill Nelson to bring about a popular vote for president. She should also work with her party's leadership to bring her vision of a fair primary calendar with everyone casting an equally meaningful vote in 2012.

We can all agree that the primary process and the Electoral College is farkakt, the question is who will be mentsh enough to fix it?

*FairVote Policy Perspective -- Delegating Democracy: How the Parties Can Make their Presidential Nominating Contests More Democratic *Fix the Primaries Homepage *National Popular Vote Homepage