February 11, 2004

That International Allure

So Americans of the Democrat persuasion, living overseas, are getting together in Scotland to send delegates to the Dem convention. Turns out these folks are feeling quite important these days and are basking in all the attention. According to the organizer of this little soiree: ""Expatriate Americans are seen by the Democrat National Committee as the 51st state, so we have voting power in the convention.". Now this is all well and good, but I want to know why Scotland? (Not that there's anything wrong with going to Scotland. In fact, it would be the top of my list for a trip any day!) Or more specifically, why any foreign country? These caucusers -- or would that be caucusees? -- are coming to Edinburgh from all over the world to participate in their country's democratic process, so why don't they come home for this meeting? You know, home? The U.S.A., the place you're considered a "51st state".

It's just a question.

The other bit that I found interesting was this:

The candidates - John Kerry, Howard Dean, Wesley Clark and John Edwards - will send either videos or personal envoys to the event. Those present have been given the voting power of a small state on behalf of the five million expatriate Americans with the right to vote.

Five million?? Wow! I had no idea so many Americans lived abroad. Though I'm not sure from the way it's written if it means five million Americans registered as Democrats, or all together.

Posted by Ithildin at February 11, 2004 5:33 PM | PROCURE FINE OLD WORLD ABSINTHE

In fairness, the RNC gives delegates to Republicans Abroad along similar lines, although I don't know where they caucus or how exactly they select them. However, I think both might be violations of the Voting Rights Act or of Equal Protection, because I presume these people are also able to vote absentee in their own home states' primaries.

Posted by: Dave J at February 11, 2004 5:57 PM

If the story had been about the Republicans, I would have wanted to know the same thing. I could see if there were several geographic area meetings, but if so many are coming from so far away, it seems kind of odd they don't come home as it's all about the electoral process.

Posted by: Ith at February 11, 2004 6:01 PM

Oh, I agree completely. It's very odd.

Posted by: Dave J at February 11, 2004 8:21 PM

The are plenty of US citizens engaged in military and diplomatic activity overseas. I wonder if outreach to these ex-pat caucuses includes them or if the big political parties address them differently?

Posted by: Ghost of a flea at February 12, 2004 6:42 AM

Nick, excellent question. Maybe someone who knows will fill us in.

Posted by: Ith at February 12, 2004 8:25 AM

Why Scotland for a confab of dimmocrats?

Its socialist, foggy and now Pagan (officially).

I'm a Republican who lived abroad (often). I'd wager Dims outnumber Repubs in the expat community in most countries. GOP abroad are limited to the business community and the lucid. Dims abroad are the TESL teachers, (fresh out of Chomsky indoctrination), and the State Department.

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Posted by: Greene at February 12, 2004 1:06 PM