A commission of the Democratic National Committee is discussing the 2008 Presidential Primary calendar. Once again, very few people seemed to be satisfied with the "latest" (2004) version, as in spite of most states cramming their primaries and caucuses as early as possible,the selection process seemed over almost as soon as it started. By the time the Virginia primary came, Kerry was already the nominee apparent, and we were early!
We need to find a way of selecting Presidential candidates which both preserves the opportunity of unknown candidates to be heard and grow, but doesn't place overwhelming power in a small number of unrepresentative states.
"One big primary" would preclude the former, maintaining the current system promotes the latter.
The Democratic Party should spread the process out more.
- have a January primary in a state chosen randomly from blue states in the bottom half by population (to keep costs relatively low to run a campaign),
- then two February primaries separated by at least two weeks from the January primary and from each other in states chosen randomly from those which were blue or within 5% of being blue in the last election.
- The rest of the primary season would be spread out though the beginning of June, with primaries grouped in batches randomly with the two week separation between groups.
In addition, we should eliminate the 15% threshold many states use to force a "winner" on the first ballot. All it does is take away the voices of those who vote for candidates who get fewer than 15%. If someone can't get to 50% + 1 without this kind of "cheating" written into the rules, maybe they're not the best candidate.