Nothing is more threatening to a representative democracy than discouraging voters or disenfranchising them. The newest incarnation of voter suppression and denial of access to the ballot box has surfaced in one of the most unlikely places. It is created within the Democratic Party by party rules and under the guise of the privileged “super-delegate” appointment. Clearly a creation of homage to a bygone era of aristocratic recognition within the party powerful it allowed those at the top of the pyramid of power, often beholden to the status quo of party politics, to be given access to the party convention and front row seats from which to preen. This mimicking of the English style of a “House of Lords” and a “House of Commons” would seem harmless enough until the “super-delegates” presumed that their appointment precluded any vote of the party faithful yet to come.
Although legally placed as a democratic party rule it is no less offensive than abrogating the party memberships’ vote or simply putting a match to the ballot box when these “super-delegates” preempt the primary election and pledge their allegiance and delegate vote to one candidate or the other before the votes have been cast and counted.
Let me make it perfectly clear that my challenge to this system is not based, in any way, on the individuals who are seeking the nomination. I do not care, in the least, about which candidate or candidates will be named or chosen for this benefit. It is the fact that preemptive pledging of a delegate vote will result in voter disenfranchisement, discourage voters from going to the polls, (viewed as an exercise in futility thereby suppressing the vote), and render the ballots yet to be cast as meaningless. It is an almost arrogant presumption on the part of those appointed “super-delegates” to think that they have the right and/or privilege to force their personal choice (or that of the party apparatus that they feel allegiance to) upon the voters of record before their votes are recorded.
They can still enjoy the honor and recognition of their positions within the party but they should have absolutely no right to pledge their delegate vote anywhere other than to the majority dictate of the people who actually vote.
Rep. John Kowalko – 25th District
Reblogged this on Exceptional Delaware.
I am a Delaware native, now living in Colorado. Bernie Sanders won the caucus here 60/40, but when the delegation shows up in Philly it will be 50/50. Governor Hickenlooper is one of the Super Delegates who “can’t imagine any scenario in which he would vote for Bernie.” Hickenlooper is in the same category as the Delaware Governor. They and many Dems can’t help it, because of the paradigm. After 35 years of conditioning, many still believe in the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) mantra, that they are in some sort of damage control mode; still in the shadow of Reagan. Matt Taibbi’s excellent take on this in his recent (linked) article in Rolling Stone (Why Young People Are Right About Hillary) says it all. The paradigm persists, even in this election year when the Republicans are self-destructing. This “half-a-loaf-is-okay” culture among Democrats applies to U.S. Senators Tom Carper, and Colorado’s Michael Bennett, and everyone else below them on their respective State tickets. They have yet to grasp the fact the future is ours, and we can have more than half a loaf.
Thanks for sharing the Rolling Stone article.
Super delegates were created in 1984 by the DNC, to “keep grassroots activists” from becoming president without the consent of the “unelected” member of the DNC. Here are the super delegates here in Delaware: Gov. Markell, Chris Coons, John Carney, Valerie Longhurst (?). john daniello …and two more I cant remember. Now look at that list and ask yourself, if Delaware went to Bernie, how many of these super delegates would OVER RIDE our vote and support Hilary? This isn’t democratic, its not democracy by any stretch. We must challenge these super delegates publically to inform us whether or not they will vote against us or not.
Back in 2008, 2 Delaware super delegates went to Secretary Clinton and the other 6 went to President Obama. Present day super delegates: VP Biden, Gov Markell, Sen. Coons and Carper, Rep. Carney, Rep. Longhurst, Former Speaker Gilligan, Lisa Goodman, Karen Valentine, and John Daniello,