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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Irony with the Democrats' Superdelegate System

Has anyone else noticed the irony in the Democratic Party's Superdelegate system being used to determine its nominee? This is a far more Republican primary system than the one the Republicans use to choose a nominee, if you go by the literal definitions of the terms "democratic" and "republican".

The Superdelegate system is different from the traditional primary system in that some influential party leaders are given votes at the convention in addition to those cast by the delegates from the respective states. The system used by the republicans is based entirely upon the votes of the people of the respective states.

The DNC could face an extremely troublesome scenario if voting by Superdelegates offsets the will of the American people in determining the Democratic candidate for President. This scenario is further complicated by the fact that Florida and Michigan were stripped of their delegates by the party for violating the party's rules. Sean Lengell of the Washington Times wrote about this very predicament in a piece entitled "DNC Faces 'Train Wreck' Over Delegates".

The key-quote from the article came from Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, who said: "If [party leaders] go to the Democratic convention and they stiff-arm the Florida delegation, how in the world do you think Floridians are going to support the Democratic nominee on [Election Day, Nov. 4]?"

This raises a very interesting question. Could being stripped of a voice at the party's convention harm the Democrats' chances of winning these two states in the general election? Will Democrat voters in Florida and Michigan feel disenfranchised from the primaries to the extent they vote Republican in November? That is a question that likely will not be answered until November.

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