Minneapolis Mayoral Election 2017

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WHS
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Re: Minneapolis Mayoral Election 2017

Postby WHS » July 10th, 2017, 9:25 am

Same problems arise? It still has the net effect of making politics more inaccessible. Plus, disempowering parties kind of moves politics towards this populist, plebiscitary system, which I am far from certain would produce better elected officials.

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Re: Minneapolis Mayoral Election 2017

Postby FISHMANPET » July 10th, 2017, 10:14 am

Me every time someone says we need to have an endorsing process at all:
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WHS
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Re: Minneapolis Mayoral Election 2017

Postby WHS » July 10th, 2017, 10:37 am

because it is an effective way to enforce a certain degree of progressivism in city political candidates

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Re: Minneapolis Mayoral Election 2017

Postby MNdible » July 10th, 2017, 10:49 am

WHS wrote:
July 10th, 2017, 10:37 am
because it is an effective way to enforce a certain degree of progressivism in city political candidates
Sounds like democracy to me.

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Re: Minneapolis Mayoral Election 2017

Postby WHS » July 10th, 2017, 10:51 am

"Filing into a voting booth once every four years and ranking three candidates" is a pretty constricted view of democracy, IMO.

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Re: Minneapolis Mayoral Election 2017

Postby mattaudio » July 10th, 2017, 10:55 am

MNdible is right on this. Also, a primary doesn't replace a convention. They serve different purposes, and we don't really need conventions any more than we need primaries.

Primaries are a method of narrowing down names onto a ballot. For partisan offices, a partisan primary will determine the top candidate for each party. For non-partisan offices (which is all City offices per state law) it narrows down the field, usually to the top two.

Caucuses and endorsing conventions are not actually a formal part of the electoral process. Any group can get together and endorse a slate of candidates, as has been done by Our Revolution or other groups. The fact that the Minneapolis DFL uses a caucus-convention system that is highly formalized is their own creation, and at the end of the day it's still just one interest group taking a position on a slate of candidates since these are legally non-partisan offices.

(Of course, the exception has been - up until this year - presidential caucuses which will now be presidential primaries. That's because the national parties choose their candidate for president based on the outcomes of state processes much earlier in the year, so caucuses - or now a presidential primary - need to happen well in advance of the *nominating* convention.)

Keep in mind, the endorsing conventions don't have a binding effect on the electoral process even for partisan offices. Margaret Anderson-Kelliher received the DFL endorsement for governor in 2012, but was challenged and defeated in the DFL primary by current Governor Dayton.

It seems like me that our current system - RCV instead of a Primary/General - works just fine for the electoral process. Maybe the DFL could take a hint and adopt RCV balloting for their endorsing convention as well.

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Re: Minneapolis Mayoral Election 2017

Postby WHS » July 10th, 2017, 11:04 am

Look, I grew up somewhere without anything resembling Minnesota's system. It was just primaries and then a general. And politics, as a consequence, was a realm untouchable by mere mortals, in which it took decades to actually make an impact beyond simply voting. Community political participation, compared to Minnesota, was nonexistent.

The convention system, whether it is "formal" or not, offers myriad opportunities for engaged citizens to work their way into the process and have their voices heard in a very real way. Yes, I get that it is messy and opaque - but that doesn't mean less opaque alternatives are more accessible. Having seen both approaches firsthand, the idea that doing away with conventions would open up the process to the average resident rings extremely, extremely false to me.

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Re: Minneapolis Mayoral Election 2017

Postby FISHMANPET » July 10th, 2017, 11:29 am

See you're focused on the good the process can bring (which is true) and I'm focused on what his the point of the DFL endorsing a single candidate when we have RCV.

I think there'd be a lot more value in a process where the DFL says "these X candidates all meet our standards of being called DFLers" without having to pick a single winner. I could very easily see Dehn, Hodges, and Frey all getting that nod in this cycle with Hoch and Aswar not getting the nod.

Also, I believe you about politics being untouchable, but have you been to a precinct caucus where 200 people are vying for 40 delegate slots and there are at least 3 languages that everybody speaks? That's not a process touchable by mere mortals either.

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Re: Minneapolis Mayoral Election 2017

Postby WHS » July 10th, 2017, 12:07 pm

At the end of the day, I think you either have a total electoral free-for-all with a minimal party role - which doesn't serve progressive ends, is tactically probably a loser, and puts activists on equal footing with people who barely engage - or you have a party system in which a subset of participants have an outsized role. And even a party system where one in five interested delegates gets a seat is a lot more open, and inspires a lot more engagement, than a system where a tiny anonymous cabal runs party business, which is what happens otherwise.

With that said, experimenting with the structure is A-OK by me. Obviously, tinkering with caucuses to make them more inclusive is always important. I don't know how it would work in practice but I also really like your idea of making the convention a gateway for a slate of candidates: seems like a good compromise between the interests of the parties and voters. After all, every time the DFL fails to endorse, its role erodes a little further - better for something to come out of the convention than nothing at all.

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Re: Minneapolis Mayoral Election 2017

Postby mattaudio » July 10th, 2017, 12:21 pm

These are *non-partisan* offices. It's up to the candidate to choose what their "party or principle" is on the ballot. The Minneapolis DFL endorsed Raymond Thomas Rybak for Mayor in 2009, but there were still *multiple* people identifying as "Democratic Farmer Labor" as printed on the ballot. There was also "Is Awesome" and "Edgertonite National Party" and other oddities on the ballot.

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Re: Minneapolis Mayoral Election 2017

Postby WHS » July 10th, 2017, 1:39 pm

I don't really follow. Clearly the party still may endorse if it chooses, and clearly that endorsement carries significant weight in many instances.

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Re: Minneapolis Mayoral Election 2017

Postby David Greene » July 10th, 2017, 1:59 pm

Not that I'm a grizzled veteran, but I've been to enough precinct and district caucuses to know that the system isn't geared toward "progressive activists." It's geared to people who understand the arcane intricacies of parliamentary procedure and rulemaking, which basically means whomever is "the establishment" at the time. That includes all of the process pre-convention such as decisions on rules.

These things are far, far from a way for "ordinary" people to participate in politics. Yes, if you get organized you can have some influence, and I definitely believe organizing is necessary for political change. "Organizing" in this case means aligning oneself with unions or other coalitions that have political power. It is definitely not the "homegrown town hall meeting" often depicted.

Again, I'm all for coalition building, but let's be clear on what conventions are and are not. They are primarily a way for powerful coalitions to exert influence. They are not a vehicle for individual participatory democracy. Nor should they be, necessarily.

I also agree that these things drag out because people don't take them seriously. Or more accurately don't take participatory democracy seriously. Everything is set up to exclude, from the schedule to the lack of support for people in different situations. The "unexpected" motions and the like are usually made by someone in the know to sneak something through. Then everyone else tries to figure out what is going on and it becomes a confusing mess. Rulings from the chair are often arbitrary and capricious. There is no accountability because objections from the floor are easily dismissed.

Don't even get me started on walking subcaucuses where organizers shuffle people around to make the math work to the best advantage of their candidates. It's just ridiculous. This isn't participation, it's playing the role of a pawn, trusting that the chessmaster is doing the right thing.

My wife and I were delegates to the convention but we couldn't find child care so we couldn't go. And we're both fairly politically active, white and privileged. If we can't participate, what about all the people who don't have the advantages we have?

I totally agree that with RCV endorsing single candidates makes zero sense. Endorsing a slate makes sense and using RCV at the convention to do the endorsing would save time. Also, not requiring people to be physically present would open things a lot. As a delegate, I don't really care about speeches because I've already talked to people and done my research. There's no justifiable reason to require physical presence to propose platform resolutions or vote on anything. Not in the 21st century. There's also no reason everything needs to be accomplished in one day. Take some time to do debate on resolutions (including online) and then take votes over a few days or so in case people have scheduling conflicts. Physical presence does matter for building relationships toward the future but most of that kind of thing happens outside official party activities anyway.

I'm kind of just throwing out ideas and I'm sure others have better ones with more thought put into them. But we've known for a long time the status quo isn't viable for truly participatory democracy and we need a real rethinking of the process, not tweaks around the edges.

I've never been to a city convention before. Since there is no walking subcaucus, what takes all the time?

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Re: Minneapolis Mayoral Election 2017

Postby billhelm » July 11th, 2017, 12:58 pm

Not to mention, unless "ordinary" people are really into the process, (and they're probably not "ordinary" at that point) they don't have 16 hours on a Saturday to devote to something like this.

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Re: Minneapolis Mayoral Election 2017

Postby twincitizen » July 25th, 2017, 9:19 am

Riffing off mattaudio's comment in the City Council thread, I wanted to weigh in on Frey's newfound alliance with Cano. It seemed more germane to this thread.

For me, Frey's alliance with Alondra Cano disqualifies him for mayor. I was on the fence between Frey and Hodges, even leaning Jacob's way after he reached out to me before the convention, but no longer. I like Frey a lot as a person, but I always felt he couldn't fully be trusted as mayor. Some of that I was willing to overlook for the "good stuff" of his excitement, personality, etc. There are things I don't like about Hodges (general personality, energy level, communication issues) but I trust her plenty to always do what is right. I also trust that she will surround herself with the right people. Lisa Bender's strong endorsement of Hodges goes a long way for me, and it should for everyone on this forum as well.

If that still doesn't sway you from Frey, also consider that he aligns himself with Lisa Goodman and Barb Johnson. I get that his personality is alluring, compared to Hodges (the quiet policy wonk), but it ain't worth it.

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Re: Minneapolis Mayoral Election 2017

Postby amiller92 » July 25th, 2017, 10:30 am

That's funny. His personality is actually a bit of a turn-off to me. I was trying to talk my wife into supporting him at the caucuses. It wasn't working, but his over-the-top speech to our precinct sealed the deal for her to be on Team Hodges.

Meanwhile, I was impressed when he called before the caucus and caucused for him, but now I'm back to leaning Hodges. For the same reason as you, I don't know if I can trust him. Being aligned with Barb Johnson and Goodman is a major red flag. What's he going to owe them? And then there's the money from the FOP. I don't really care much about whatever the relationship is with Cano, in part because I don't think she's effective enough to actually hold him to doing what she wants. Barb Johnson and Goodman very much are.

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Re: Minneapolis Mayoral Election 2017

Postby xandrex » July 25th, 2017, 11:41 am

I’ve heard through the grapevine that much of the alliance is personal rather than policy, but who knows?

In any case, it’s interesting to see Frey get some blowback from his Cano alliance, as she’s been the one getting scolded for the most part. This is perhaps a natural occurrence, since her base was always progressives/leftists that now feel let down by her seemingly moving closer to the “moderates” on the council.

Frey is an interesting subject, since he doesn’t really fit the mold of either of the two council factions particularly well. I kind of think of him as a establishment type with urbanist leanings.

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Re: Minneapolis Mayoral Election 2017

Postby amiller92 » July 25th, 2017, 11:49 am

This is going to be unfair: he feels like '90s Norm Coleman.

I don't think he'd change his stripes completely for the sake of gaining power like Coleman did, but ambition does seem to be his primary characteristic.

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Re: Minneapolis Mayoral Election 2017

Postby Sacrelicio » July 25th, 2017, 12:46 pm

amiller92 wrote:
July 25th, 2017, 11:49 am
This is going to be unfair: he feels like '90s Norm Coleman.

I don't think he'd change his stripes completely for the sake of gaining power like Coleman did, but ambition does seem to be his primary characteristic.
Yes, that's the feeling I get from him, opportunistic and mostly driven by his own ambition. I think he does some good work but he also seems very concerned with his record and resume. I've gotten into some email and Twitter conversations with him and he likes to point out that even if something didn't go the way it should have (3rd Ave) that he was on the right side. Well I don't really care what side you were on, did it or did it not get done?

I also think he likes riding the wave of being the CM for the "hottest" ward in the city right now and takes a lot of credit for that. He doesn't feel like a "we" leader, he's a "me" leader.

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Re: Minneapolis Mayoral Election 2017

Postby David Greene » July 25th, 2017, 2:46 pm

Y'all have done a great job articulating why I feel uncomfortable with Frey. Norm Coleman indeed. Definitely a "me" leader.
amiller92 wrote: ...his over-the-top speech to our precinct sealed the deal for her to be on Team Hodges.
What did he say?

Dehn is still me #1, mainly because having someone in office with actual experience in the criminal justice system is important, especially now. That and his ties to the northside will bring some new perspective to the mayor's office. That said, I'm not real fond of the Bernie Bros out there "advocating" for him.

Hodges is my #2. She's in real trouble but I'm with twincitizen in trusting her to do well. Maybe not always make the right decision but to think about things seriously and decide in good faith. She needs to up her communication game and the energy is just not there. Beyond that I honestly don't know. Maybe Pounds just because having an agitator in office for a term might spur some conversation and change.

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Re: Minneapolis Mayoral Election 2017

Postby QuietBlue » July 25th, 2017, 2:53 pm

xandrex wrote:
July 25th, 2017, 11:41 am
Frey is an interesting subject, since he doesn’t really fit the mold of either of the two council factions particularly well. I kind of think of him as a establishment type with urbanist leanings.
He's pretty much the archetypical yuppie. If this were 25-30 years ago, he'd likely be running as a liberal Republican.


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