Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Super Delegate dilemma could push away Democrats' up-and-comers

Our newsroom is preparing a story for later this week that explains what a "super" delegate is in relation to the race for the White House. Most folks who follow politics have heard of the SD's, but probably wouldn't know a super delegate from superman.

Right now, we keep talking about "regular" delegates, which are what the candidates win each time they win a portion of a state's Presidential primary. Some states are winner-take-all, but most lately have involved giving each candidate a number of delegates based on how many votes they received.

For the Dems, 2025 total delegates are needed to have a majority ... and with that comes the nomination for President. Republicans have a similar SD system, but it involves fewer delegates.

Got it? Clear as a dense fog? right!

Well .. then there's this whole matter of "super" delegates. There are 842 on the Democratic side alone .. and that makes up 40 percent of the total delegates. The SD's aren't chosen by the people, but are rather appointed by the party; typically Democratic Governors, Senators, Congressman are SD's .. even Bill Clinton gets to be a SD this time around. Again, 842 of them in all.

So it's plausible that Barack Obama could win more state primaries and finish with more elected delegates than Hillary Clinton ... and yet Clinton could still get the Democratic Party's nomination because more of the SD's will vote for her thinking that she is more electable. Of course, the opposite could happen as well.

Wouldn't you be offended if that happened?

My fear is that if that scenario develops, the young base that the Dems have worked so hard to attract are sure to feel offended and rebel against the party and maybe politics altogether. Could you blame them?

Why spend so much time, working so hard, talking to so many people so that your candidate can get more actual votes from the people .. only to see a bunch of Washington stuffed shirts say, "Sorry .. we know better than you"?

Like most Americans, I'm still learning about the SD process, which seems to be a checks-and-balances program that allows party bosses the final say to ensure the people choose someone who is in their best interest.

Still, if this drama continues to play out on America's stage the way it's going, we might honestly see the people who came out for all the right reasons being pushed away for all the wrong ones.


Anonymous said...

Love the clip art. Wher eis the giant ballot and the BIG pencil?

Anonymous said...

Every election my dad would quiz me on who I'd vote for (even before I could vote) and I'd have to give the reasons why. This happened all the way up until I was married and in my 30's. The right to vote was something that he remembered not always having. He remembers a time when certain people's vote didn't count the same as others. But people died, and change happened. What scares me most about the Super Delegates -is that it will take us back to a time when my vote does count the same as someone else's. Some person can say my vote is only a 1/4th of their vote. People must urge their states delegates to speak for the people not for themselves.

Anonymous said...

To take a quote from Animal Farm written by George Orwell, "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others." That is what i think of the Superdelegates - Napoleon and his band of crooks. A small fraction that accounts for 1/5 of the delegates vote. It is obvious that they do not want the voice of the people to be heard, except for the voices of their pocket change clinking with the same failed policies they have in place, with the same crooks controlling government. Overall, get rid of the "super"delegates, they are hardly super by any stretch of the imagination. Let the voice of the people be heard, not drowned.

quarzacc said...

Because this election is so unusual in that Hillary is married to a former president and every IOU has been called in for a SD or delegate on her side Bill Clinton (in my opinion) should not hold the right of SD in this race.
In essence she has slept (barely) through marriage and black-mailed the people who once held office with her husband to get her this far. She has also given women across America a bad name, crying when it suites her, and instead of rising up to challenge she changes subject and attacks Obama. Don’t even get me started on the bs that she has fed to the Hispanic community, why do you think that her manager quit and wont support her?
As for America, look at Berkley CA right now. They are speaking out and the federal government is stating its going to pull money from the city and the University for speaking out. No-matter what your stand is we all have the right to free speech. Face it America has become numb; we have been slowly, mentally beaten into submission so we do what we are told and not make trouble for the people in charge. If you protest against Bush right now be ready to get beat up and arrested. Look at the past few years when peaceful demonstrations happened, we were fed information that was so twisted and people that were demonstrated got mangled
But thats just me.

Anonymous said...

The buzz in Texas is all about the importance of the upcoming primary on March 4th for dems. Because of the delegate system, why bother voting... the Austin Statesman newspaper published an article last week about the 32 SDs and that 11 have already pledged their vote to Hillary. This was before the dems voted and made their "voice" heard. If the election boils down to a handful of politicians deciding, we seriously need to overhaul the election process. Obama, good luck in changing that!

Would be interested in seeing a "Paul Harvey's 'Rest of the Story'" article on the reason we have a delegate system. I will venture a guess: when the country was young and it was difficult and time consuming to travel by horse & buggy to cast a vote, delegates were elected to represent a county, township, or geographical area. Seemed like a reasonable solution for 200 years ago. Don't you think we could scrap this system with the instant communication tools of today such as this blog, email, internet, etc? Let the popular vote be the only deciding factor -- take out the politicians entirely from hand-picking the next president.

KenmoreBunny said...

It would be very interesting to know WHO the Super D's are in Ohio and especially in NE Ohio. How many of there Super D's have already decided on their candidate? Are there any Super D's not committed to a candidate (especially Clinton)?

quarzacc said...

I agree It should be known whom the supper dels and delegates are that are backing the canadites. I also would love to see an easy why of tracking the money they recieve.

Andy from Hamburg said...

Thanks to CNN (that seems to be feeding information to people assuming that the average IQ is about 45 :- () and Eric of course, the explanation of a totally shady democratic system has even swept across to Germany.

Let me be pragmatic and summarize:
Our friends across the Atlantic are doing a great job - admired by all of us Europeans these days - to get rid of a filthy political system that has basically messed with the world for the past 16 years. With our so called "Western values" at stake, we are so glad to see that a "movement" is happening in the States and that we will soon witness a new start where we can seek solutions and dialogue to face those global challenges together.

And in contrast to this display of "real democracy", we got something called superdelegates that are totally counterproductive?!

Please someone tell me that this is a practical joke and that we innocent observers were stupid enough to fall for it???!

While CNN has told us over and over again what a superdelegate is, they just happened to avoid answering a single easy question that instantly comes into everyone's mind when looking at the available data. How can it be that one candidate has more pledged delegates, while the other has and had from the very start over a hundred of the "elite establishment" – well the answer is pretty obvious and maybe just someone should have had the courage to say it out loud. Pathetic!

Well, guys/girls – it is about time to start a revolt and request the system to be a little more democratic.

LOL from Obamaland (Germany!)

With 82% in our polls, we have already decided whom we would like to see in Germany as the next US president :- )and no "elites" did interfere in the public choice.