An Exercise in Democracy?

I was reading on the internet, looking at stuff about the election, and I must admit being frustrated with the Primary Election process.  Some are holding caucuses, some are holding elections, some aren’t even states… WHAT?!

Yeah… seems that Guam, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa get to vote in the primaries.  At this point, we might as well annex them proper and make them states number 51-54.  Maybe the whole “imperialist” charge isn’t as far off as I like to think it is.  Okay, if they want to vote and want the rights of a citizen of the USA, lets make them pay taxes and become citizens of the USA.  It is an inherently bad idea to give control of your nation to another nation.  True, they are small enough that it shouldn’t make a huge difference in the general sense… but a lost of people said the same thing about the Electoral College before the 2000 election and look where that led us.  “Quaint”, “Cute”, and “tradition” are words that should not enter into the political dialogue.  Either we make these islands states, or we let them go.  That’s my position and I’m stickin’ to it.

 Democracy(democrats) in action.  There is this really fun bit in the nomination process on the DNC side of the aisle called “Superdelegates”.  So the question is “what the heck is a superdelegate”?  Basically, a Superdelegate is a delegate to the nation convention that is not committed to vote for a particular candidate when they get to the convention.  While that sounds rather droll and inconsequential, the problem is that there are roughly 798 of them slated to attend the DNC Convention this year(270 Congressional members, 256 people of renown such as Al Gore and former president Bill Clinton, 312 otherwise normal individuals).  The Democratic Party nominee needs to win 2,025 delegates to secure the nomination of the party… if they obtain fewer than that, the Superdelegates have the power to tilt the nomination to any candidate of their choosing, regardless of who is the delegate leader was prior to the convention.  What does this mean?  If someone has an iron fist with the superdelegates (such as the Clintons), they can walk away with the nomination as long as they are within about 750 delegates of the front-runner.  Imagine for a moment, if the convention were next week, and the Republicans declared Mike Huckabee the nominee over John McCain.  That’s the kind of gap that could potentially be covered by the superdelegates.  The “party of the people” seems to be more the “party of the party”.

To put all of this in perspective, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has banned anyone connected with them from using the term “superdelegates”… because it gives the impression that these are special individuals that they would have “undue influence” over.  Translation: Barak Obama had better win a couple more landslides, or we are looking at a big upset at the convention.  Rather than “superdelegates”, I believe the official term the Clinton campaign is using is “uncommitted delegates”… because that’s so much better…  However, the video I found by ABC news showed that the superdelegates are indeed special individuals.  I know this because they were talking to a 21-year old college student in Wisconsin who is a Superdelegate because at the age of 18 he ran for (and won) a seat on some official DNC council.  This pencil-neck geek(no exaggeration) is having breakfast dates with Chelsea Clinton… he’s getting peronal phone calls from both Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, John Kerry, and Ted Kennedy.  Now, someone tell me that the superdelegates aren’t important to the DNC process… I dare you.

So it would seem that “one person, one vote” is in fact not true……… if you are a democrat, anyway.

Adam

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~ by xristosdomini on February 14, 2008.

One Response to “An Exercise in Democracy?”

  1. I’m pretty sure the whole superdelegate thing is relatively contemporary – say in the last 40 years or so. Since it’s about the “other” party, though, I’ve been too uninterested in informing myself about it to google or wikipaedia it. The dems pick their favorite uber-liberal candidate however they like, and I vote against them. Simple.

    Officially the superdelegates are supposed to bring the experience of actually standing for elected office into the candidate selection process, and I suppose that to balance the easily manipulated emotions of the idealistic voting base whose intent to feel good trumps common sense. Superdelegates are experienced in the currency of political favors, and can figure out better than the masses the price to buy a candidate. I heard a local radio guy talking about this recently, who said the democrat party institutionalized the “smoke-filled room” in their nominating process. I don’t mind that a bit, either, as I’ll definitely be voting against him/her/it.

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