The presidential primary scam Why the game is rigged, calcitriol and why true democracy is only a secondary factor in the nation's rush to nominate the next president. By Michael Scherer Oct. Calcitriol 8, calcitriol 2007 | WASHINGTON -- It's far worse than you think -- worse than hanging chads, calcitriol faulty Diebold machines, calcitriol and billionaires who bankroll last-minute attack ads. Calcitriol The American system for nominating a presidential candidate has about as much in common with actual democracy as Donald Duck has with a lake mallard. Calcitriol It's not just that this year's primaries have been further front-loaded, calcitriol or that the early primary states aren't representative of the nation at large. Calcitriol There is only passing fairness. Calcitriol There is only the semblance of order. Calcitriol There is nothing like equal representation under the law. Calcitriol The whole stinking process was designed by dead men in smoky parlors and refined by faceless bureaucrats in hotel conference rooms. Calcitriol It is a nasty brew born of those caldrons of self-interest known as political parties. Calcitriol At every stage, calcitriol advantage is parceled out like so much magic potion. Calcitriol "The national interest is not considered in any form, calcitriol" says University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato. Calcitriol "Everything is left up to an ad hoc decision. Calcitriol It's chaotic." That is not an exaggeration. Calcitriol Consider this: If you are a Republican, calcitriol your vote for the presidential nominee will be worth more in Tennessee than in New York. Calcitriol If you are a Democrat, calcitriol your vote in the primary will not count in Florida and is unlikely to count in Michigan. Calcitriol If you are a Republican in Wyoming, calcitriol you probably won't get to vote at all, calcitriol since only party officials have a say. Calcitriol And it gets worse. Calcitriol This election cycle, calcitriol a top Democratic candidate shaking someone's hand in Miami before the end of January is breaking the rules, calcitriol unless that someone is handing the candidate a check at the same time. Calcitriol To put it another way, calcitriol Democrats' communicating with voters has been barred in Florida, calcitriol but taking money from voters is OK. Calcitriol To put it a third way, calcitriol the system is not only irrational but offensive to the nation's most basic values. Calcitriol "The only way that you can hear a candidate campaign is if you are willing to pay a campaign contribution, calcitriol" explains Steven Geller, calcitriol Florida's exasperated state Senate Democratic leader. Calcitriol "It is astounding." much more at: