Saturday, February 09, 2008

Kryptonite for the Superdelegates


I don't know about you, but I'm a litte bothered by all of this superdelegate nonsense. Though (to be completely honest) I never even heard about the notion of a superdelegate until now, I'm already annoyed by them. What's worse is that these few hundred people will be key to determining who our next Democratic nominee will be.

Just a brief somethin' about how this whole thing works: Certain delegates are assigned specifically to a candidate based on how well that candidate does during caucuses and primaries. Essentially, those delegates are obligated to endorse the candidate who won their state. Superdelegates (elected officials, former Presidents, big wigs, etc.) are significantly different; in that their votes are not limited to the same regulations and they can cast their vote for the candidate of their choosing; even if that candidate is outside of the party. For better insight, the Hippie Conservative wrote an incredible piece on how it works. What can I say: this guy's a walking almanac. But, I digress.

Anyway, superdelegates will be critical during this election year, especially considering that people are speculating that it will be virtually impossible for Clinton or Obama to win the Democratic nomination solely based on the pledged delegates. But if enough of the superdelegates fall in line with the candidate who comes in second, that candidate could easily get moved to the head of the line. So anybody with even an ounce of belief left in our system of democracy should be OUTRAGED by the idea that the interests of few people can (and most likely will) trump the interest of an entire collection of people. Hmm...sounds a little bit like why I hate the Electoral College.

Fortunately for you, I've come up with an answer to this problem. After all, I've always got ya back. That's what I'm here for...

Effective immediately, Congress should require all superdelegates to swear an oath to vote for the candidate who earns the most non-superdelegate votes. Of course, Congress would never make such a move, but I believe it would significantly reform our present situation. Even in the event that this initiative is only supported by one of the Democratic candidates, the other would almost be forced to jump on the bandwagon, at the expense of coming across as being an opponent of democratic voting. As the candidates all catch on, it would only be a matter of time before the DNC and its superdelegates also got the hint. They'd be faced with mounting political pressure to support this initiative by Congress.

In the end, this initiative would cause Senators Clinton and Obama to spend more time trying to earn votes from you and me and not the privileged few. Because of this, the person who eventually receives the nomination would have done so by being represented by the majority.

There you have it. This electoral kryptonite I just proposed is the very thing we need to stop the "Delegates of Steel" from their overpowering grasp.

- ACL

2 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

nic said...

"Outraged" is an understatement. I'd say that we should all be out on the streets w/ pitch-forks & lanterns, but this isn't something new that was implemented. Instead, the Super-Deletgates were created as a safety-valve to prevent a repeat of the Nixon/McGovern debacle of '72 that had McGovern winning a mere 1 state. But because all previous primaries since haven't been close enough to utilize this safety-valve, it's been a bit out of the public eye, & thus, has never been under any real scrutiny. Until now. And while I feel a bit ashamed about not previously knowing the mechanics of the Super-Delegate system, we can't fault our ignorance now that it may end up screwing the supporters of either side (Regardless if I'm an Obama supporter or not, I don't want to see him win/lose by this undemocratic process; and should Billary lose, his/her/it's supporters should very justly feel wronged as well).

But in addition, the fact that Bill Clinton, by being a previously elected President, is one of these Super-Delegates smacks of nothing but conflict-of-interest (although the same argument could probably be made for many of the Super-Delegates as well), as there's no doubt where his vote will be going.

I'm telling you, w/ this, on top of the Michigan/Florida primary mess (of which my vote was included), I'm becoming more & more discouraged by the entire process. Exactly how am I supposed to get my apathetic girlfriend, friends, & peers to not only vote, but get out & get involved when all this is going on?

On the plus side, maybe all of this will bring to light the real side of politics for many. That is, the dealing, lobbying, conniving, plotting, & back-stabbing that American Politics really is. And then, just maybe, people will start speaking up. I'm not holding my breath though.

Excellent post Andre, I think I'll go cry myself to sleep now.

-n

The H.C. said...

@ Nic and Dre,
I'm so proud of both of you I could cry. Finally, some outrage! The good news is; I'm starting to see some people waking up to this debacle. I swear I've held class on this issue in Taco Bells, Malls, hallways and just about anywhere that people overhearing me talking about it (thanks to my loud voice). If there are enough people paying attention the Democratic party is going to be very afraid of being caught with blood on their hands. I heard a Congresswoman on the radio pleading with her fellow Superdelegates to not pledge until the committed votes are all in. This still leaves the issue of Michigan's and Florida's delegates. Not to mention the "uncommitted" delegates. The DNC is thinking about a caucus in Michigan to "revote", this has the Clinton camp in an uproar as they now consider those vote theirs. The "machine" is breaking down and the people are seeing how it works. This is very bad for the Clintons. Could the Monarchy be over? One can only pray. One more piece of good news, Superdelegates can change their minds.