Tuesday, February 12, 2008

gender politics

I voted today in the Maryland Democratic Presidential primary. In addition to voting for a candidate, voters are also asked to vote for delegates to the national convention. This part is particularly interesting to me. Because here in Maryland, when selecting the delegates to the Democratic Convention, we select by gender. The ballot has a list of women candidates and voters are instructed to select 3 "women" delegates. Then it presents a list of men candidates and instructs us to select 3 "men" delegates.
HUH?? How bizarre! The Democratic party leadership doesn't trust that Democratic voters will select a gender representative group of delegates without mandating it ? Don't Democratic voters pride themselves on their openness? Wouldn't they be inclined to make their selection without considering gender anyway? When you sign up to run, how do they verify which list you go on? Is there a test or is it the honor system? What if you're in "transition" one way or the other?
Isn't this separate gender selection an anachronism that should be abolished?

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