Sunday, February 21

If Hillary and Bernie have virtually split the popular vote so far, why is the delegate count 502-70?

Many people have charged that the two major political parties are thoroughly, irredeemably corrupt.  This argument has been used to explain why Republicans haven't managed to defeat a single proposal pushed by Obama despite winning majority control of both houses of congress.

If you're cynical that way, here's some ammunition:  In the 4 primaries held so far, Hillary has won about 52% of the votes...yet somehow has racked up 502 delegates to 70 for Bernie Sanders.

The reason is a thing called "superdelegates"--a brilliant bit of subversion inserted in the party rules by party honchos years ago to keep fed-up voters from selecting a presidential candidate the party didn't want. 

The party's nominee for president is chosen NOT by the people but by a majority of all the delegates to the party's convention.  "Pledged" delegates are those selected by voters in the primary elections, and vote for the winner of that state's primary.  But "superdelegates" aren't chosen by voters.  Instead they're current and former party officials.  Their vote count just as much as the pledged delegates when choosing the nominee, but unlike the "pledged" delegates chosen by voters in the primary election, superdelegates can vote for whoever they want.

In practice that means they vote the way the party tells 'em to, since to do otherwise would end one's political career.

When the parties first considered the idea of superdelegates, critics said the scheme was explicitly intended to allow party bigwigs to overrule primary voters if the party didn't like the candidate the voters chose.  But party bigwigs hauled out pages of flowery, dense bafflegab, and perfumed, lofty gobblespeak, and that ended the debate.

Actually there wasn't any debate.  Party insiders simply voted to approve the new rules, and that was that.  So much for reassuring lies like "the people have spoken," eh?

So if you think your primary vote counts...well of course it does, citizen!  Our nation was built on the Constitution, and the rule of law, and the idea that government should be limited.  Of course all those principles have been totally killed in the last 7 years but the point is that you shouldn't spend a moment worrying about these "superb delegates" or whatever you say they're called.  They're just people like you, and they'd never do anything undemocratic or anything like that!

Besides, you can trust your party officials to always act in your best interests--even if you don't realize it.  Cuz they're like, totally smart and even more totally honest.  They'd never take bribes to do things against your interest.  Really.

So...no problem here, citizen.  Move along.

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