In Which Our Hero Becomes a Mundane Political Officer
Today was the Lyon County Democratic Party Convention. The delegates selected through the party caucuses earlier this year (a total of 168 total countywide delegates, including me) were called to gather at the high school in Silver Springs. (The site is more or less centrally located within Lyon County, meaning that the people from Dayton, Yerrington, and Fernley all had to travel, but we all had to travel approximately the same distance. Only the relatively few people from Sliver Springs had the short drive.) It was an interesting, if at times frustrating experience, and I can say that I am certain that we had better organization at the WSFS Business Meetings in Spokane last year.
The net result of the convention was that Lyon County will send a total of 55 delegates to the state convention in Las Vegas later this year: 34 pledged to Bernie Sanders and 21 to Hillary Clinton. But it took quite a while to get to that conclusion, and led to a lot of people sitting around frustrated waiting for things to get to a decision, as I'll explain below.( My Day in Democratic PoliticsCollapse )
After the opening speeches and letters, we received the initial report of the Credentials Committee, which reported that only 107 of the 168 elected delegates had registered. Delegates still had until Noon to actually register, so while the convention was quorate, they didn't want to proceed with the major business (selection of delegates for the state convention) until everyone had a chance to register and then alternates seated. With a quorum present, the convention elected the Temporary Chair as the Permanent officers, and then we went into a long recess for over an hour.
(Incidentally, one woman with some meeting experience of the wrong kind in my opinion kept trying to correct "recess" to "suspend," even though there is no motion to suspend. "Recess" is the correct term.)( Read more...Collapse )
So we finally got all of the delegates to the county convention sorted out, and the delegates to State managed to agree to get it to where we didn't have to hold an election to fill 34 seats simultaneously. But business wasn't done yet; unfortunately, many people had to start leaving, and were not happy that they didn't get to participate in the platform process.( County Party PlatformCollapse )
The convention was now adjourned, but I had a few people who wanted to complain at me about how not everyone who wanted to speak did so. One older gentleman in particular complained that as Parliamentarian I should have done something to get the Chair to recognize that young man who so much wanted to speak.( Running by the Rules Sometimes Means You Don't Get What You Personally WantCollapse )
Now, despite some of the bad feelings (for which my low blood sugar could not have helped), I did get a number of people coming up to me thanking me for my explanations, and one woman said, "After you explained it, I realized that even I could speak."( What I Should Have DoneCollapse )
And that was my day as a Democratic Convention Parliamentarian. I could have done better. But we could have done worse as well. And if I do decide to get more involved in local county politics, maybe by the next time this rolls around we'll be able to conduct a meeting of this size with a bit better organization so that there's less waiting and more time spent on substantive debate. Current Mood: exhausted