Tell the Democrats: Let the Voters Decide!

So, how did the Democrats come up with this “Superdelegate” system where Democratic Party insiders can potentially overturn the will of the people at the convention?

Seattle lawyer and superdelegate David McDonald explains in the Seattle PI says the system came about because of a 1980 parliamentary brawl between supporters of Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy.

That was what led to the creation of the superdelegates’ role, to have party elders step in to provide a decisive, party-unifying bloc of votes to whichever candidate appears the strongest contender for November.

How paternalistic! 

Even though Obama is in the lead by over 100 delegatesClinton could still win by making use of superdelegates and other “incendiary steps” including arguing to seat the Florida and Michigan delegates banned for holding their primary too soon, according to a New York Times article.

I was happy to see both Democracy for America and Move On have petitions now telling the Democratic Party to “Let the People Decide”:

Democracy for America’s petition: http://www.democracyforamerica.com/votersdecide

Move On’s petition:

http://pol.moveon.org/superdelegates/?r_by=12133-755930-2NEN_l&rc=paste

Tell the Democratic Party to Let the People Decide !

Colleen

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3 thoughts on “Tell the Democrats: Let the Voters Decide!

  1. Mary Tarkington

    Thanks for the background on the superdelegates! The system has been around for more than 20 years. It is a good one. Voters routinely cast ballots for candidates who they know very little about. They react to carefully crafted images that often have nothing to do with who the candidates really are or who would make a good president. Lets not change it in the midst of a highly contested primary season. If, in the end, the system did not serve the party well, we can change it.

  2. That’s exactly the paternalistic attidude of party insiders I’m fighing against. “Superdelegates” often choose their candidate beholden to political loyalties and which way they think the wind is blowing and especially seem inclined to turn the party into Republican-lite.

    It’s especially galling in Washington state, where we have to go through the caucus process and spend an afternoon debating which candidate is better, and pick our delegates for the county and legislative level; then to be told it’s okay for our elected officials and other party officials to potentially overrule the will of party members because, as your comment indicates, we’re only children who can’t be trusted to choose the right candidate.

    So are we going to replace the general election for a meeting of Democrat and Republican superdelegates as evidently none of the rest of us can be trusted to research the candidates and issues and vote for the person we think best to lead the country?

  3. World News

    Press Release:
    updated 9:30 a.m. PT, Fri., Feb. 16, 2008
    WASHINGTON – Pope Benedict XVI will visit the White House on April 16 during his first visit to the United States as pontiff.
    White House spokesman Scott Stonzel said Senator Barack Obama, D-Ill and the pope would continue discussions they began during Obama’s trip to the Vatican in June 2006 on the importance of faith and reason in reaching shared goals.
    Stonzel said the goals include advancing peace throughout the Middle East and other troubled regions, promoting interfaith understanding and strengthening human rights and freedom. The pope was also expected to address the United Nations, visit Victory Monument one of 9 Chicago Landmarks and celebrate Mass in Chicago Ill. and Washington during his April 21-25 trip.

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