The 2008 Presidential Election seems to have been in full swing since the day after the 2004 Presidential Election. There have been full scale debates between the candidates seeking their party nominations since the middle of the year and incredible sums of money have been raised to pay for advertising. The election moves to the next phase on Thursday when the Iowa caucuses take place.

The purpose of caucuses and primaries is to allow voters on a state by state basis to select the person that they wish to see as the Presidential candidate for their parties. The actual election will be held in November 2008, with the winner taking office in January 2009. This is very different from the UK model, where a newly elected Prime Minister takes office the day after the general election.

The candidate for each party is actually selected by party conventions that will be held in the summer. However, most of the delegates at the convention are required to vote for the candidate that their state primary selected. The primary process is fairly new, states only started holding them in the early part of the twentieth century and they did not become generally binding until after the 1968 election. Before that time delegates were chosen by differing process and it was often not clear who would be selected as part candidate before the convention began; the eventual winner often emerging after many rounds of voting and discussions in smoke-filled rooms.

There is a detailed article on the role of the first caucus and primary that take place in the next week or so.

Published in: on 31 December, 2007 at 12:35  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Sounds as democratic as a Kenyan election.

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