Full disclosure: I am a founding member of the MISolidarity team.
Monday night at 10pm, a new era began for the Michigan Democratic Party. For the first time ever, the people will choose their candidates for the MDP State Central Committee.
Every two years the MDP holds elections at their Spring State Convention, this year it’s on February 20th. Among other elections, each Congressional District (CD) elects delegates and alternates to represent them on the MDP State Central Committee (SCC), the governing body of the MDP. In the past, candidates have been chosen almost exclusively by Party insiders. They typically don’t tell anyone else who will be running until election day.
Worse, very often there is no election – at least not a contested election – because usually there’s only one choice on the ballot. Moderates and right-leaning Democrats are always telling progressives that “it’s better to have only one slate, so we show that we’re all together.” That’s why they call theirs the Unity Slate. When there’s only one choice on the ballot, whoever made that choice is picking your representatives, not you. They’re choosing your representatives for you, but you feel like you get a choice because they hold a (purely ceremonial) vote – cargo cult democracy. The vast majority of folks making the argument for cargo cult democracy don’t understand that’s what they’re advocating.
This week, MISolidarity is conducting an open primary election in each CD for spots on the Solidarity Slate. The people of each CD will decide who should and who should not stand for election to represent them on the State Central Committee. If you joined MISolidarity before the ballots were released, you are eligible to vote in the primary and will receive a ballot by email – if you haven’t, you can contact MISolidarity at 248-934-1267 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Voting will be open for 72 hours.
More than 100 candidates are running in the MISolidarity primaries across the state, from Ironwood to Detroit. All candidates were asked to provide a photo and short bio. These can be seen at https://www.misolidarity.org/primary-nominations/. It’s critical that the voters know something about who they’re voting for.
MISolidarity hopes their example will set a new standard for fairness, inclusion, transparency, and democracy in the Michigan Democratic Party.
Ample opportunity to vote.
Same-day membership and voting.
Advertise and recruit clearly and loudly.
Open primaries, any member can participate.
These processes ensure every member who wants to can compete equally under the rules.
Do you think having a transparent and inclusive process is more democratic than a closed and exclusive process?
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We win this fight together, or not at all.