Old political hacks have more than enough bad memories of election year conventions that dragged on for days (and nights), struggling to select candidates, write the platform, elect party officials, and maybe even find time to deal with urgent party business. No wonder conventions became friday morning ’til late sunday afternoon tests of endurance with victory going to those who could get off work friday and maybe monday too and afford multiple nights in big city hotels.
So no wonder the idea of off year conventions to elect party officers is catching on. I follow several democratic party units in the rural areas of midwest states on Facebook, and seems like everybody’s doing it, and turnout has rivaled election year conventions. Last weekend South Dakota democrats has their convention, I’ll refer you to South Dakota’s best progressive blogger Cory Heidelberger for his account at this link.
My own 7th congressional district had it’s convention too, and it went pretty well, especially since someone finally stepped up to relieve me of the thankless job of Outreach Officer. While the convention started friday eve with social events and ended with a saturday night banquet that required another nights hotel stay for those travelling far, following CD7 tradition the business of the convention began at 12:30 pm saturday and was over before 4. That meant I could leave the south end of the district at 7, drive 240 odd miles there (bit more than usual as my shortcuts were iffy due to flooding) and arrive at 11:30 with plenty of time to prepare for the meeting. Meeting over, hopped back in the TDI at 3:50, gambled and took some of my usual county road shortcuts, and got home just before 8. Average speeds were 56 MPH on the way up and 59 MPH headin’ home, the VW Golf TDI again showing it’s ability as a real world performance car on this 90% 2 lane route, with MPGs in the usual 40s.
So off year conventions are working well- Heck, even the CD7 republicans copied us and held their convention the same weekend!