Thursday, January 24, 2008

THE OUT-OF-CONTROL DELEGATE SYSTEM

In my last post we looked at the debate surrounding the Electoral College. Many thanks to Andre Louis for giving his side of the argument (even though he's wrong *snicker*) Now I want to move on to the part of our electoral process that is so corrupt, so distorted, that I feel it's nearly impossible for the people to get the candidate of their choice (unless it happens to be the parties choice)- the delegate system. If any of you have been following the disenfranchisement of voters in Michigan and this weekend in Florida, you know what I mean. I can not tell you how angry I am at both the Democrats and the Republicans for allowing this to happen. Punishing the voters of those states for the action of the party leaders is like punching my neighbor because my dog pissed on the floor. So, to help all of you get as angry as I am (isn't that nice of me?) I'm going to try to explain how utterly corrupt this system is.

The first thing we have to address is whether or not our Democrats and Republicans have the right to shove candidates down our throats. It is, after all, their candidate from their party. The argument among the party elites goes like this: It's my party and I have the right to put up whoever I want. True, but is it their right to put on a dog-and-pony show at the taxpayer's expense? Is it their right to mislead you into thinking that it is you, their party faithful, that have chosen their candidate when in reality it's the party leaders that have decided? I say NO. If they want to chose their shining star let them do it behind closed doors so we can see it for what it is. Their candidate, not necessarily ours, picked through nepotism and politics. Normally, this doesn't become much of a problem. People on both sides have accepted without much dissent what their party serves them up. But this year there has been an active campaign to stop two candidates from reaching the brass ring within their parties, Mitt Romney on the RNC side and Barack Obama on the DNC side, that the people seem to want. Mitt has the problem of being a Mormon, and frankly, the evangelistic controlled RNC is not too happy about the prospect of running someone who may not like having to bow to the true power structure of the RNC. Barack has a different problem, he's black. It's not like the DNC really has a problem with black people, (black people vote for Dems at about 90%), it's more that they're not sure that America will vote for him in numbers that will assure a win in November, and beating the RNC is always their first priority. Both Mitt and Barack also share one real problem with their party; they're fighting against the Anointed Favorites of their party. As I explained in "The McCain Factor", McCain stepped aside to allow G.W. to win. He did the loyalist thing and put his own ambitions in check. The reward for John was to be the nomination the next time around. And this is his time around. I don't even think I need to tell anyone that Hillary Clinton is the Anointed Favorite on the DNC side and that Barack is seriously screwing that up. Thankfully, (for Clinton and McCain) both sides have a process to eliminate any chance of us, the people, getting their pick, and that process is the delegate count.


The most important part of this corrupt system is the delegates, superdelegates, and uncommitted (or unpledged in the RNC) delegates themselves. All the delegates are actual people who go to the DNC or RNC conventions and then vote for the candidate that they represent, this is how the nominee is actually picked, not the vote that you cast. In order to be sure they play the game correctly, the delegates are picked by the party elites. They are usually people that have worked for one of the candidates by helping them get elected or members of DNC or RNC. These delegates are usually committed to that candidate and only move their vote if their candidate withdraws from the race. They can, however, be encouraged by that candidate (if he withdraws) to move to the parties choice. The real problem comes from the uncommitted (or unpledged) delegates and the superdelegates. (one of the reasons I advised people here in Michigan not to vote "uncommited" in protest of their candidate not being on the DNC ballot). Uncommitted delegates can be persuaded to vote for anyone that they wish. The danger here is in the fact that they won't be voting until the convention. Therefore, any candidate that is off the list (even though they were on the list at the time they were deemed "uncommitted") is not an option. Where they go is determined by the needs of the party who lobby hard for them to go to the Anointed Favorite. The Superdelegate, on the other hand, is usually one of the party elite, such as Congressmen, Senators, and high placed party representatives. For example, in my home state of Michigan, Governor Jennifer Granholm is a superdelegate as is Mark Brewer the head of Michigan DNC. The end lesson? Superdelegates nearly always go for the Anointed Favorite.


Now, let's go over the numbers. On the Democrat side it takes 2,025 delegate votes to win the nomination. Out of those, 796 are Superdelegates. That means that over a third of the delegates needed to elect the nominee comes from the DNC itself. Move all these delegates to one candidate (such as Hillary) and as you can see, it becomes very hard to upset the Favorite. So how is this panning out? A quick look at the delegate count reveals that Hillary has 184 superdelegates to Barack Obama's mere 90 delegates. See how the game is played? Minus the S.D.'s, Barack is actually leading Hillary 63 to 48, with the S.D's it becomes 232 for Hillary compared to153 for Barack. On the Republican side it takes 1,191 delegates to win. The RNC gets 3 delegates for each state (that they put where they please) plus any unpledged delegates. Unpledged delegates are allocated using a state by state system that Einstein couldn't understand. If you want to try, here it is. The RNC has nearly half the delegates in it's system so it takes fewer to control the outcome. Mitt gets too close, more are added to McCain.


The bottom line on all this is; You don't really get to pick your nominee even though they go through this Dog-and-Pony show designed to make you think you did. As if it's not bad enough that the media does their bidding, as if it's not bad enough that the choices are cut in back room deals, now we pay for elections that are only designed to give us false hope. Get rid of the Electoral College? First we need to demand that the RNC and DNC get rid of this ridiculous primary and caucus system, or at the very least call it what it is, a joke on the American voter. H.C.

8 comments:

Andre said...

After all of this, I trust that I've convinced you that the entire United States electoral process should be scraped.

Then again, if the process doesn't get any modification to it (I'm certainly not holding my breath), the delegate system only really hurts the Dems. I mean, they're the ones who put up an undemocratic primary election. Stuff like this makes me unsuprised that Republican presidents have and always will be the recurring theme in this Nation.

lime said...

well, since i live in PA, which doesn't even hold its primary until the end of april, i am used to not having any say in who the candidates are....well , that and refusing to declare a party which means i can't vote in the primary at all....yes, it's all a pretty sad state of affairs.

nic said...

Yes, very complicated, very undemocratic, & ultimately, very silly. But I wonder, considering that Clinton already won Michigan, & if she wins Florida tonight (as she appears to be on track to doing so), then didn't the DNC essentially fuck themselves by removing said state's delegates, as she's been their baby all along?

-n

The H.C. said...

Hey Dre,
I agree that the delegate process really only hurts the Dems. The reason the Dems have a far more lopsided amount of movable delegates is because, unlike their Rep counterparts, they fear their more radical components.The Republicans on the other hand embrace the far right so they feel less need to control their primary. I hope I at least demonstrated to everyone just how unfair the system is to Barack in particular.

The H.C. said...

Hi Lime,
I feel your frustration. Here in Michigan we didn't even get the benefit hearing the Dem's side of the argument.This was due to our Democratic representatives (along with Republican collusion) disenfranchising ALL of our votes. God do we need a third party now more than ever. Thanks for your imput.

The H.C. said...

Hey Nic,
No, since they will seat the delegates anyway (I promise) and by that time there will only be one candidate. If there is two (w/Barack) they'll use those delegates to fix the primary for Hillary. Black people; do you feel that knife in your back?

Andre said...

@ Nic: "...considering that Clinton already won Michigan, & if she wins Florida tonight (as she appears to be on track to doing so), then didn't the DNC essentially fuck themselves by removing said state's delegates, as she's been their baby all along?"

I predict that the delegates from those states will still make the convention. They may have to ride on the back of the bus, and chill next to the punch table once they get there, but they'll be there. Still, interesting point you raised...

@ HC: "Black people; do you feel that knife in your back?"

I wouldn't limit this to just black folks. It's the whole state of Michigan, the whole state of Florida, any Obama supporter, and every person subjected to this ridiculous voting system who gets the knife in the back.

Well, everybody expect the few superfolks who have their guy win.

The H.C. said...

Hey dre,
I agree with you that it isn't just black people that have been wronged. I said that because black people are such a voting block for the Dems. I didn't mean to imply they were the only ones wronged. By the way, I now consider myself an Obama supporter. It's gotten a little personal for me and I have to admit he's won my respect for the way he's handled himself so far. By the way, I 100% agree, those delegates will be seated, now the question is; For who? Could the DNC risk being caught with blood on their hands if it's a brokered convention? HMMMM, the plot thickens.