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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Disenfranchising the voters

photo credit:mishtalk.com

Both the Democrat and Republican parties have been actively trying to disenfranchise voters, especially primary voters. Their methods are different, but both parties (or perhaps more accurately, the so-called "Uniparty") can achieve the same result. That result is stripping the power of the vote away from the registered voter and shifting that power to the party committee and establishment elites. 

Politico reports on this issue within the Democratic party: 

A growing number of Democratic senators support reforming the party’s superdelegate system — a move that would dilute their own power in the presidential nominating process but satisfy Bernie Sanders and his millions of supporters as Democrats move to unify for the general election.

Politico interviewed nearly 20 of Sanders’ colleagues over the past week and found a surprisingly strong appetite for change, including among influential members of the party establishment such as Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a top prospect for vice president. More than half the senators surveyed support at least lowering the number of superdelegates, and all but two said the party should take up the matter at next month’s convention in Philadelphia, despite the potential for a high-profile intraparty feud at a critical moment in the campaign.

The findings point to growing momentum among Democrats for changing a system that’s been criticized for giving party bigwigs undue sway over the nominee at the expense of the grass roots. But powerful Democratic Party constituencies, including the Congressional Black Caucus, are firmly opposed. And lawmakers who are open to reform disagree over how far-reaching it should be.
. . .
Senator Sherrod Brown is on record on the subject of superdelegates. He just doesn’t care about the electorate:

“I want Bernie in the fold, I want him enthusiastic,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, another potential VP choice. “I’m fine with whatever they negotiate, I just don’t care about superdelegates. I don’t care about the whole thing.”

Then there is the GOP strategy. In this election cycle, it included rewriting the GOP primary rules, state by state, to implement what Sundance dubbed The Splitter Strategy, a plan that would ensure that no GOP candidate crossed the finish line before the July convention, so the selection process could go instead to a contested floor vote, and the GOP elite could anoint Jeb!, as in Jeb’ll Fix It. When Trump upset that apple cart, the GOP fractured further, with the emergence of the Never Trump bloc that still hopes to deprive Trump of the nomination in July. All this talk, especially from Speaker Ryan about letting Republicans vote their conscience, is intended to undermine the primary results that gave Trump more votes than any other Republican candidate in history. Haugland has been outspoken on his contempt for the grassroots voter (via another politico report):

North Dakota’s Curly Haugland, who is on the convention rules committee, has long argued that no rules change is necessary for delegates to vote their conscience. He contends that party rules require delegates to vote freely and that they can ignore any state laws and rules that purport to bind delegates to the results of primaries and caucuses. Haugland insists his effort is not meant to oppose Trump – he’s pushed it for years – but rather is about empowering the party’s elected delegates to choose the GOP nominee. [emphasis added]

What is the purpose of primary elections, if the party “leadership” and rules committees can disregard the voters and decide who the nominees are themselves?  
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