Monday, May 9, 2016

The Opportunistic Use Of Democratic Process

You may have heard on the news that the Maine Democratic Convention delegates voted overwhelmingly to get rid of super-delegates and that they also voted to make the five super-delegates from my state vote proportionally for Bernie Sanders whereas most of them have already pledged as supporting Hillary Clinton.

Of course the mantra is that super-delegates are anti-democratic, which is, to some extent, true but a moot point.  There are whole chunks of the nominating systems across the country which are anti-democratic, not to mention the entire process of electing a president under the rules set up by the constitution.  As Samantha Bee noted, given that their nomination process got down to a choice between Donald Trump and Ted Cruise,  a lot of Republicans would be willing to give a much cherished part of their anatomy to have  super-delegates this year.   Super-delegates were instituted as a means of having a strong Democratic nominee after the stinking un-democratic nomination procedures gave us a series of losing and weak candidates for President.  As an aside, it is really telling that it takes a Canadian to tell Americans about how screwed up the nomination process is.  

The great irony of their vote against super-delegates at the Convention this weekend,  is that if Maine didn't do presidential nominations in that most anti-democratic part of the process, caucuses, it's not a foregone conclusion that most of those Bernie Sanders delegates would have been at the Maine State Convention and it's almost certain that Bernie Sanders wouldn't have gotten as big a percentage of the caucus vote as he had.  This year the biggest beneficiary of the most anti-democratic part of the process has been Bernie Sanders.   Certainly in Maine and other caucus states. 

I might be in favor of getting rid of the super-delegate system, in a future election IF IT IS PART OF A TOTAL REFORM OF THE PROCESS.  The thing I'd start with would be to get rid of caucuses in favor of primaries in all states, AND IF WE GOT RID OF OPEN PRIMARIES AND CAUCUSES.  I will repeat that up until the day of the Maine caucus I wasn't particularly worried about the presence of an independent, Bernie Sanders in the Democratic contest for the nomination.  It was hearing his supporters at the caucus,  many of whom obviously never had been registered Democrats and many of whom clearly intended to drop the party affiliation if their candidate didn't get the nomination.  After the experience of 2000 and 2004 the most certain way to get my guard up it is hearing alleged leftists openly, at a Democratic caucus, talk about how they will vote for the Green Party candidate if they didn't get their way in the Democratic nomination.

No party necessarily owes people who are not serious and real supporters of it a chance to nominate someone to carry the most important nomination.   The excuse for open primaries is that they are paid for by the government and should be open to all.  Well, they are open to all, if people want to put up a candidate for some other party, they can, they can do that.   They could, I would imagine, through some mechanism put a dozen "independent" candidates on a ballot.  I wouldn't have any problem with a rule saying that any "independent" candidate that got above a threshold level of support in a primary could appear on the ballot, though not as the candidate of the Democratic Party.   Though that threshold should place the in serious contention to win a majority of the votes in the general election.   We've had enough experience to show that allowing never-could-win spoilers on the ballot is a disaster for democracy, not an expression of its health. 

It is especially funny, this year, to have all those Jill Stein fans of futility and guaranteed to be ignored symbolism pushing the line that the process this year is anti-democratic.  In the wake of the Maine Caucus, I went to the Green Party website and looked around.   One of the things I found was the clearly miffed declaration of the Colorado Greens that they would not endorse Bernie Sanders as encouraged by the Oklahoma Greens.  Among the other reasons given was that Green Party rules wouldn't allow them to retain their affiliation if they did that. 

Additionally, we are affiliated with the Green Party of the United states. One of the requirements of accreditation with GPUS is that we must support only the presidential nominee from our national party. We do not intend to do anything but that. We have five different presidential candidates, and from among them, we will choose our nominee at our national convention in Houston on August 3-7, 2016. Colorado will send five delegates to that convention. At present, Dr. Jill Stein is recognized as the front runner, but the other four candidates are also very thoughtful and forward thinking, much more than anything the Democratic slate has to offer.

Notice that last sentence which is as clear a sign of the delusion that comprises the thinking of the Greens.  There is one thing that none of their candidates for president offers, any chance in hell of winning the election, becoming president and putting any laws or policies into effect.  That three decades into the quasi-existence of the Green Party, for them to figure that someone who gets some attention in the minor venues of the lefty media is offering anything except their own ego-pleasing publicity is a crack pot.   Yet such people were also allowed to vote as Democrats in this years Maine Caucus when they obviously had no loyalty to the party or respect for the overall choice of Democratic voters across the country.   

1 comment:

  1. Of course, the Maine superdelegates could say: "Eff it, I ain't voting! "

    Which would hurt Sanders more than Hillary.

    Honestly, do these people think?