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?