What's a Super Delegate to Do?

@anniepa (27238)
United States
March 27, 2008 6:35pm CST
We hear a lot about "Super Delegates" these days, something that up until a few months ago most of us probably didn't know even existed. However, now it seems everyone has an opinion about them and what they should or should not do. Some say each Super Delegate should vote for the candidate his or her state or district voted for in their primary or caucus; others say they should all go with whoever has the lead in pledged delegates, others still say they should vote for whoever has the lead in the popular vote in the event that's different from the leader in delegates. Some think they should have already committed themselves to one of the candidates, others say they should wait until all the primaries are over, some even say they should wait until the convention. What say you? Let's discuss it, hopefully in a civil manner. For myself, I'm glad I'm not a Super Delegate because I know no matter what there are going to be some pi$$ed off people. Annie
3 responses
@Kenorv (344)
• United States
28 Mar 08
If the democrats had a strictly winner take all primary system instead of a proportional delegate system of primaries and caucusses then they wouldn't need the super delegates to decide the democratic presidential nomination. I honestly have no idea why the democratic party of all people created this system. The party of Thomas Jefferson who said that, and I'm paraphrasing because I don't remember the exact quote, "a single vote majority should mean just the same as a unanimous decision." That to me means that he would be in favor of a winner take all primary system. Give every voter a chance to vote and if one candidate wins a state by a single vote majority then he or she wins all of the delegates in that state. The caucus system is undemocratic if you ask me and I still don't understand why the democratic party would use a caucus system. Caucusses are only one or two hours long which means a lot of people can't vote. How can you determine the true will of the people if you don't give everyone a chance to vote. And the super delegate system is the most undemocratic system of all. If the democratic party wants to be the party of the people then they need to eliminate the super delegate system. Go with who the voters want regardless of whether or not the party agrees with that. It's hard to take the democratic party seriously as the party of the people when their system contradicts that. So basically what I'm saying is that the democratic party needs to start acting more democratic.
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
28 Mar 08
I'm not sure I'd go for the winner take all primary system, it's too much like the Electoral College and I hate the with a passion! I'm a believer in "one person, one vote". Caucuses really aren't fair because there are too few people that can participate in them. Going and casting your ballot is one thing but in today's busy world not too many of us have several hours to spend in a room debating what candidate to caucus for. Plus, they're often held at times that aren't convenient for many people. I really hope the SD's go with whoever the most voters have chosen but anything less will be a disaster. Annie
@Kenorv (344)
• United States
29 Mar 08
If you eliminate the delegate system altogether and just go by popular vote then only the large cities would vote. The electoral college in the general election, and the delegate system in the primaries were created to encourage people in every part of the country and every part of a state to vote, not just those in large cities. It's not a perfect system but I guarantee you that it's better than just going by the popular vote. But again, a proportional delegate system only creates a problem because unless one candidate wins a state by 20 points then both candidates get pretty much the same amount of delegates. Barack is ahead because he won a lot of small states and won them big enough to get a majority of the delegates. Hillary has won most of the big states but not enough to get more than a few delegates more than Barack. If the democrats had followed the advice of one of their party's founders, Jefferson, and decided that a single vote majority was as sacred as a unanimous decision then they wouldn't have this problem. There is no perfect system to decide a president but I believe that winner take all primaries are the best way to decide nominees.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
29 Mar 08
I'm sorry but I must be missing something. Why would only people from the cities vote if we didn't have the Electoral College? Also, I'm still opposed to the winner take all system because that would make it very possible for one candidate to win the popular vote by a lot and still lost in the delegate count depending on which states they won. Annie
@rodney850 (2145)
• United States
28 Mar 08
Anniepa, It's good to see we agree on a few things! I too am absolutely for the abolition of the "electoral college"! I firmly believe that the popular vote should be the final say (even if it meant that Gore won in 2000)! In one of my other posts I believe I made the point that in a special set of circumstances the president could be elected by just winning 12 states! That just boggles my mind, 12 states! That would mean that even if every soul in every other state and territory voted for the other guy the winner of those 12 states would be president. Unbelieveable! Now to another voting atrocity! Super delegates; what's so super about them? Do they "leap tall buildings with a single bound"? All kidding aside though, the democratic party put this system in place so if, IN THEIR eyes, America got it wrong then the DNC, with their divine knowledge, could make it right! This year it will blow up in their faces though. They have a lose, lose situation on their hands. Unless Obama pulls off the upset of the year in PA (which I don't believe he will pull off due to his pastoral problems)these two will be coming into the national convention neck and neck so no matter who the "super delegates" decide to vote for, a great deal of the American democrats are going to be furious.
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
28 Mar 08
I think I just responded to your other post about this. I've been disgusted with this Electoral College deal forever. It had its purpose when it took weeks for news to reach some parts of the country but it's been long obsolete. I also agree this SD thing is ridiculous. However, we're stuck with it for now - let's hope that's also done away with before 2012 - so I think the only right thing for the SD's to do is to vote for whoever has the overall popular vote lead after the primaries are all done. I also hope some kind of solution is found for the Michigan and Florida mess. We can debate or argue about who's to blame for the disenfranchising of these voters but the fact is it's over and done with, what has happened has happened and now there has to be some way (in my opinion) for these states to have a voice. Annie
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
29 Mar 08
We're in absolute 100% total agreement here. There sure does need to be major changes made to our voting system and it can't come soon enough for me. Annie
@Kenorv (344)
• United States
29 Mar 08
The founding fathers knew what they were doing when they created the electoral college. If you abolish the electoral college and only go by popular vote then you'll only have the big cities voting. People in Montana, the Dakotas, Alaska, and all these other states with small populations won't feel inclined to vote because their votes won't make any difference. The electoral college isn't a perfect system but it's the best system for a country that divides itself up by states. If the U.S. didn't have a state based system(and if it didn't then we'd have to call it something other than the United States) then deciding presidential elections by popular vote would be the best system but our country is unlike any other country in the world, with the exception of Austrailia. I believe they're the only other country in the world with a state based system but I could be wrong. The electoral college is the best way to make sure every state is relevant in deciding presidential elections.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Mar 08
Whomever suggested that the super delegates should have already decided and posted their choice, I agree with that. They should have all had to be part of the primary that each of their respective states was a part of. I think this is just one more way, to screw the american people out of their real choice and voice. I think there are all kinds of secret deals going on, for their almighty vote, and that stinks, period. They should be made to vote in their states primaries just like the rest of us. Its not like there is a tie, Obama is winning.
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
28 Mar 08
They all did or do have the opportunity to vote in their respective states primaries but their vote as a Super Delegate is separate from that. I hope they don't get away with any secret back room deals or anything like that because that would turn so many voters off it would take forever to get a turnout like there's been this year again. I think the only way the SD's should come into play is if there were a tie. Annie
• United States
28 Mar 08
Well then I think that is extra unfair. If they voted in the primaries, why should the vote separate? Or do you mean they could do either or?
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
28 Mar 08
No, they don't do "either/or" they do both. Of course, like the rest of us, they're not required to vote in their own state's primary but I'd say it's probably safe to assume, since they are all politically inclined if not actual politicians, they all do so unless something really major prevents them from doing so. The way the primary process works (I think!) is in the primary or caucus, depending on the state, the popular vote determines how many delegates go to the National Democratic Convention committed to each candidate. These are supposedly "committed" delegates but from things I've been hearing lately that's not even carved in stone. The whole "Super Delegate" concept came up after the convention in 1980 became so divisive for the Democratic Party, so they wanted to prevent this from happening again, don't ask me why they thought this would do that...lol. The SD's are all current Democratic members of Congress or the Senate with the exception of the remaining candidates, all Democratic Governors, past and current Party Chairmen, past Presidents or VP's, past Speakers of the House, Senate Majority or Minority Leaders, committee chairmen as well as various local party leaders. They can announce who they're casting their delegate vote for in advance or wait until the last minute and they can change their mind at any time. In other words, they have "Super" Powers! Annie