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Daily Freeman Life Editor Ivan Lajara talks about journalism, living in the Hudson Valley, language, the Web, cats and even politics. But he shouldn't.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Your ultimate guide to the primaries. Really! (not really)

Regular readers of this space (all two of you) might have noticed that it’s been a week since I last wrote anything.

To put things in simple terms, I was busy (being lazy).

As a token of my appreciation for your loyal support or your search for embarrassing typos, I will provide you with a guide I devised a long time ago (4:30 p.m. today) to understand, once and for all, how the electoral primary process works.

First, a few concepts:

* A primary is not a secondary.

* A party delegate is a person who, after you vote, can ignore your vote.

* A superdelegate is a delegate of the Democratic Party with super powers, such as heat vision, the ability to fly and the power to totally screw up the election process. Republicans don’t need superdelegates because they have Arnold Schwarzenegger and Chuck Norris.

* The Electoral College is a college where nobody graduates or pays tuition, room and board and where every four years the president of the most powerful nation in the world is chosen by just over 500 “electors” (undergraduates) at their respective state capitol buildings (keg parties where you are not invited, even if you bring an empty plastic cup and $5).

* A party nominating convention is not really a party (though there are plenty of balloons) and there is no beer, so there is no real need to explain this further. The so-called parties also are supposed to adopt a platform -- a statement of party principles and goals, such as how many balloons to bring to the convention — and adopt the rules for the party's activities, such as how many times a candidate is supposed to say the word “change.”

* A party nominee is chosen at the nominating convention, which is called “American Gladiators.”

* A nominating caucus is like a primary but instead of pulling a lever, candidates are elected using other methods such as straw polls or bingo.

The process:

* Pick candidates.

* Candidates say “change.”

* Candidate who says “change” more often wins “momentum” (money).

* Candidates say they hate money in politics.

* Candidates raise record-breaking amounts of money.

* Candidates say they hate the “status quo” or, in other words, Latin.

* Each party chooses one candidate they don’t really like that much.

* People vote between the two candidates who used to be human beings before the process began.

* Electoral College votes for whomever it chooses (the Supreme Court can join in).

* New president starts/ends war(s).

* Rinse and repeat every four years.

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