Now the puzzle pieces are starting to come together in terms of both the Democratic Party and Republican Party coordinating their efforts to curb primary frontloading. Those efforts are certainly still in their formative stage, but as FHQ has indicated, if reform of the nomination process is truly desired, the two major parties will have to work together to incentivize going later in the process and punish those states that go too early.
As to timing, the discussion was relatively brief and consistent with prior discussions – Iowa/NH/SC/Nevada can go after Feb. 1, every other state goes after March 1, the rules should encourage regional clusters by offering incentives such as bonus delegates, the RBC will address enforcement procedures and sanctions, and the DNC will try to coordinate timing with the RNC rules committee. The RNC coordination process is ongoing.
Commission members recognized that the best hope for a spread out process lies with agreement with the RNC on starting date, both parties imposing the same penalties for going out of turn, incentives to states to move back and cluster, and the states recognition that frontloading is no longer the best way to get attention. One caveat – the Commission should consider the effect of offering bonus delegates both for moving back and for clustering – too many bonus delegates may distort the traditional delegate allocation which is typically based on Democratic vote and population.
DemRulz also has in that post (linked above) a look at the prospects for change in terms of the caucus process and the folks formerly known as superdelegates.
UPDATE: Commission member Suzi LeVine had this and more to say on the discussion regarding the timing of delegate selection events at today's Democratic Change Commission meeting in Washington:
#1: recommended encouraging regional primaries and spreading out the calendar – with incentives (ie – bonus delegates). RBC to determine incentives. (We did not address penalties or how to handle when a state’s legislature breaks the windows without the party’s permission).
Democratic Change Commission Meeting (#3) Tomorrow
The Links (12/3/09)
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