Thursday, March 6, 2008

Superdelegates: Does your vote really matter?

After reading many of the previous posts, posters have done a good job summing up the candidates views on energy issues. I really like the link to this chart (posted by . I considered debating on behalf of my chosen candidate (McCain), but we could do that until the cows come home.
I decided to tackle an interesting issue that I didn't know to much about and maybe you don't either.

The term superdelegate refers to some delegates of the Democratic National Convention, but each party has a "superdelegate" type system. The Democratic Party happens to have a greater % of superdelegates making up there total (around 20 %, to Rep 5%).

Basically, the voters in a democratic primary choose not a candidate, but a pledged delegate (person who legally must vote for who the people have chosen) to represent chosen candidate at the national convention. However, each state has a certain number of unpledged delegates termed "superdelegates". These are current or former elected democratic officials that can vote for whoever they want. As stated earlier, unpledged delegates make up around 20% of total democratic delegates.

In short, these unpledged delegates exists so the leaders of the party can ensure the nominated candidate best supports the parties platform not necessarily the people. It is of course common sense that most unpledged delegates will vote for person who the people support because they have the greatest chance of winning the general election, but that is not always the case.

Is this really a democratic process. The answer is no, but it doesn't say anywhere that a party has to choose their nominee in a democratic way. They would be smart to do so if they want the backing of the general public, but they can choose to nominate someone by drawing straws. Just realize that when you cast a primary vote, in may not matter.

How about the general election? Unfortunately most of us know that is not a truly democratic process either. Each state has its own laws on whether or not an electoral college member must vote as the people have. However, only 85 votes in the history of the electoral college have ever gone against state recommendations due to personal interest of the electoral member.
In conclusion, it would probably be best to go to a purely popular vote method for elections.
Here are some links if you are interested in learning more:
Electoral College

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