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Superdelegates... Bad for Democracy

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Don't like the electoral college and the idea that a president can be elected without a majority? You'll hate the way superdelegates can and will affect the primary election process-- unless you like feudalism.

A mea culpa. I've been hearing about superdelegates but hadn't gotten up to speed on them. I just took a leap of information and I'm not happy.

For starters, people have been saying that so far, with the states that have voted so far, there's only a seven point delegate spread between Clinton, Edwards and Obama.


Throw in the superdelegates, including those from Michigan and Florida and Hillary has 203, Obama has 98 and Edwards has 46. Kucinich has 2.

Changes things, doesn't it?

Ends up that all the members of congress get a vote, DNC members get a vote-- and that adds up to 796 superdelegates-- about 20% of all the delegates available.

Here's a link to a page that tells a whole lot about this, including listing who is committed to who.

So far, about 350 have committed to a candidate. That leaves 440 uncommitted-- about 20% of the number of delegates needed to win.

Here's a link to the current list of un-decideds. Most of them are state bigwigs-- Democratic chairs and co-chairs, union officials... my guess is these are not the most liberal of Democrats.

I can just hear my readers who say the Democratic party is lost and should be given up on.

I have to confess that knowing that regardless of all the effort the candidates put in, a group of 450 individuals have the clout equal to 20% of the tens of millions of voters who will go in earnest to vote in the primaries, many of them not even aware that these superdelegates in their state coul neutralize their votes.

It sucks. It turns the Democratic process into a chimera that hides far too much insider power.

I imagine that gradually, the superdelegates will commit. Who knows what kinds of deals will be made to secure those commitments. Hey, there are a lot of jobs that will need to be filled as all of Bush's "Brownies" are turned out to pasture and pigpen. How do you think the successful presidential candidate will decide on appointing hundreds of people-- merit? Well, maybe for some posts, but I'm going to guess that superdelegates will be in very good position for either jobs or benchmark funding for special projects-- direct or through corporate shells or second hand parties.

Call me a cynic. Superdelegates belong in a feudal system, not a democracy. It's bad enough that we have the electoral college. At least, when we're selecting candidates, special, powerful people should NOT be given special powers and privileges to influence the primary elections. The hell with that idea.

I may be late getting up to speed on this. I may not have the whole picture. I'm willing to be educated and enlightened by anyone willing to go into more detail. But from what I see so far, superdelegates are bad for democracy and they should go. Now, how do we the people take away the influence powerful insiders in the Democratic currently possess?

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Rob Kall is editor-in-chief, publisher and site architect of OpEdNews.com, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor. He hosts the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, aired in the Metro Philly area on AM 1360, WNJC. Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

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Of course you're right as you often are. But, ... by Rev. Robert Vinciguerra on Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 10:06:24 PM
If the form of government in the United States wer... by Steve Fallon on Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 10:16:08 PM
... But Rob is correct that the two-party system c... by bejeezus on Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 10:41:02 PM
Agreed.   Those who look only one direction... by Brad Evans on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2008 at 12:23:15 PM
We need to get rid of delegates altogether and sub... by John Hanks on Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 10:43:07 PM
You've just filled me in on a missing link on ... by Edward Ulysses Cate on Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 11:31:02 PM
That's exactly what it says in the book. ... by David Son on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2008 at 2:15:40 AM
In part, superdelegates help protect a political p... by DGallion on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2008 at 2:19:50 AM
No smoke-filled room, but still a convention which... by Margaret Bassett on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2008 at 9:26:03 AM
You can keep track of all delgates, including the ... by Frank J. Ranelli on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2008 at 5:21:27 PM
However, the media is not giving much weight to th... by steve scheetz on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2008 at 7:03:29 PM
They said we can not loss this time around because... by beccy on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2008 at 7:26:35 PM
To me, both parties have too much political power.... by David666 on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2008 at 8:16:46 PM