Thursday, February 16, 2012

The hut theory

We went out to dinner tonight prior to heading over to Archer's school for a math and science exhibition. As we left the restaurant, we started talking about the Republican primaries.

I happened to have heard a piece on NPR about the history of the primary system, so I told the kids about how primaries changed after 1968. Noel then talked about what happens if a candidate, like Newt Gingrich, drops out of the race -- the delegates become free to support someone else.

"It's like if the delegates are in little huts," Cady Gray began explaining. "And if one of the huts gets knocked down, the people inside are free to roam around the village."

"Usually the person who drops out endorses one of the other candidates," I explained, adding that the delegates are then likely to go to that person.

"It's like, to continue my analogy," Cady Gray went on, "the prisoners in the hut that is destroyed have a chance to go to any of the other huts that they want."

Archer followed this up with another primary metaphor -- that it's like playing Coin Runners in Mario Kart, where when a person drops out all their coins become available for the other players to pick up. But to be honest, I doubt I'll be able to think of the primaries from here on out without picturing delegates locked in a series of huts.

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