Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Shouldn’t voters know how many delegates Obama and Clinton have?

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Originally published on BuzzFlash.com on Thu, 02/07/2008 – 10:26am

Boy you would have thought that would be an easy question, like “What time does the sun come up today?” or “How many home runs does Barry Bonds have?”

But alas, there are delegates and superdelegates. Many media outlets were rather confused. When I did a search yesterday to try and get an accurate count, I checked several different sources and each one had different numbers.

This process should be so easy that it shouldn’t confuse the USA Today (yes, the USA Today is easily confused, but that is how easy the process should be).

The average voter should have some idea about where things stand. I’m not the average voter, and I’m not sure what is happening.

But the Democratic Party decided to come up with superdelegates. These superdelegates were designed to have the party’s elite have a say in who the nominee is. But that seems to be, well, un-Democratic.

Yes, I realize there is the explanation to make sure someone doesn’t come along, perhaps a disciple of Lyndon LaRouche, and try to commander the party’s nomination. For political junkies in Illinois in 1986, the names Mark J. Fairchild and Janice Hart will always live on in footnotes.

But try explaining to the average voter why superdelegates are part of the democratic process, and you will likely be stammering.

While superdelegates have been around for over 30 years, the issue rises to the headlines due to the close race between Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama for the nominee.

This is a tightly contested race, and every appearance of openness and democracy needs to be on display. After all, the Democratic Party is the party that has proportional allotments of delegates, a more fair process than the Republicans.

The Republicans have been all about secrecy, underhandedness, and trickery. Not that I’m comparing superdelegates to stealing presidential elections, but the Democratic Party should set a good example of what democracy should be.

For as the talented Tony Peyser put it this morning, “If politics were a butcher shop, superdelegates would be the finger on the scale.”

If there is truly a need for superdelegates, they should reflect the vote of the people, not override it. Anything less is not democracy.

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Written by democracysoup

February 7, 2008 at 10:26 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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