In American politics, the word caucus has two meanings.

  • A meeting to nominate the party's candidate for a political office is called a caucus. This differs from a primary, where the candidate is elected by the larger public (to an extent; see that WU for details). In smaller counties or districts, virtually all nominations may be done by caucus; in a larger area, delegates from the smaller component areas (e.g. precincts for a county/district election, counties for state, states for national) will be elected by their local organizing committee to go to the higher-level caucus.
  • In legislatures (like Congress, its component houses, or state legislatures and their houses), the caucus is a subgrouping of legislators with one particular interest. Generally, each party will have a caucus (although members of the caucus may not belong to the party; see Rep. Virgil Goode), then smaller caucuses may exist like the Congressional Black Caucus or the House Technology Caucus.
A piece of commercial software made to host discusssions; it can be used for conferencing, or virtual collaboration with asynchronous communication. Caucus runs on the most common Unix servers with Apache.

In the end, AFAIK, it's the single piece of software that most closely resembles a BBS in these modern days.

There are a few noticeable Caucus sites out there, mostly:
- Howard Rheingold's Brainstorms, and
- The Twin Cities FreeNet

Cau"cus (?), n. [Etymology uncertain. Mr. J. H. Trumbull finds the origin of caucus in the N. A. Indian word cawcawwassough or ca�xa3; cau-as'u one who urges or pushes on, a promoter. See citation for an early use of the word caucus.]

A meeting, especially a preliminary meeting, of persons belonging to a party, to nominate candidates for public office, or to select delegates to a nominating convention, or to confer regarding measures of party policy; a political primary meeting.

This day learned that the caucus club meets, at certain times, in the garret of Tom Dawes, the adjutant of the Boston regiment. John Adams's Diary [Feb. , 1763].

 

© Webster 1913.


Cau"cus, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Caucused (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Caucusing.]

To hold, or meet in, a caucus or caucuses.

 

© Webster 1913.

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