Skip to comments.Breaking: "Dean Takes Tokyo, Sweeps Past Kerry On Third Ballot" (This is No Joke)
Posted on 02/09/2004 1:32:57 PM PST by AmericanInTokyo
Democrats Abroad Japan Press Release Submitted by Heather on 9 February, 2004 - 05:59 UTC. - For Immediate Release -
"Dean Takes Tokyo, Sweeps Past Kerry on Third Count"
A record 156 participants gathered at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Yurakucho Tokyo, on Sunday 8 February for the Democrats Abroad Japan Caucus. The purpose of the Caucus was two-fold: firstly to elect delegates to the Democrats Abroad Convention in Edinburgh in March, members of which will in turn be elected to the Democratic National Convention in Boston, and secondly to propose and debate resolutions to be adopted as planks in the Democratic Party platform. Caucus Chair John McCreery, who also serves as International Vice-Chair of the worldwide Democrats Abroad organization commented, as he surveyed the room full of enthusiastic Democratic supporters, "It's absolutely amazing. In the 1996 and 2000 Caucuses, we thought we were doing well with 40 to 50 participants and so we booked a room for 80 this year, thinking we'd have a few more people. To get nearly four times the number that we had four years ago just shows the commitment that Americans here in Japan have to defeating the incumbent Administration." Similar increases in participation have been reported by Democratic organizations worldwide, as well as inside the United States.
Following impassioned speeches and presentations by supporters on behalf of the candidates, the participants took a straw poll. The results of this first ballot put Governor Howard Dean of Vermont in the lead, followed by US Senator John Kerry, with a large measure of support for Congressman Dennis Kucinich and Senator John Edwards.
The first major division into the Presidential Preference groups, from within which the delegates are elected, demanded further discussion and another grouping to produce viable groups. This put Kerry in the lead by one participant, with Dean second. The "uncommitted" group came third, with that for Dennis Kucinich fourth. Since only three delegates can go from Japan to Edinburgh, the Kucinich group was disbanded under Caucus rules and the groups reformed yet again. After this third count, the Dean group swept past Kerry, going from a one-point lag to an eighteen-point lead, and capturing most of the ex-Kucinich group members.
The delegates selected from within the Preference Groups were Lauren Shannon as the Dean delegate, Larry Carter for Kerry, and Brent O'Leary as the delegate representing uncommitted voters. Alternates from these groups were also selected to attend the Edinburgh Convention.
Various platform resolutions were introduced by participants, urging the Democratic Party to adopt platform positions on issues such as the environment, gay rights, the de-politicization of science, technological outreach to disadvantaged communities, and additional financial support for servicemen serving in war zones. In addition, discussions were held on the caucus system itself for Democrats Abroad and its possible replacement by a primary election system. Democrats Abroad Japan co-Chair Terri MacMillan commented, "This was a great day, even if it was exhausting. I'm thrilled that so many people turned up to show their support. We're all delighted that we had a chance to make our voices heard round the world." (sic) Fellow co-Chair and "uncommitted" delegate Brent O'Leary said, "The fact that we are getting so many people interested, in Japan, in the USA and round the world is good news for the Democratic Party. It's bad news for George W. Bush and the Republicans," he smiled. "Believe it or not, the number of potential American voters living overseas is more than in 38 states of the USA. As Americans living abroad, we can bring our experiences and perspectives to help strengthen our nation and its future, and there are enough of us for our voices to make a difference. The record turnout today shows that people want change."
"No matter who ends up being the Presidential candidate," John McCreery put in, "Democrats will be 100% behind him to help him make this change, and give the power back to the people of America." Terri MacMillan added, "There are many Americans living and working in Japan who are eligible to vote, but may not have registered. This weekend (14th and 15th February), in common with other branches of Democrats Abroad worldwide, we're running a Voter Registration Assistance program. See our Web site [address below] for details of what we'll be doing. This isn't just for Democrats, by the way. We'll help you register, no matter what your political affiliation is. And if you miss this weekend, we'll be conducting similar programs later in the year."