Friday, March 07, 2008

Party of the Common Man

As the USA's presidential campaign continued this week with primary elections/caucuses in Texas, Ohio, Vermont, and Rhode Island several things became clear/official:

  • US Senator John McCain (Arizona) will officially become the Republican Party's nominee at their September 2008 convention

  • The fight for the Democratic Party's nomination between US Senators Barack Obama and Billary Clinton is still very competitive and is likely to go on until at least the April primary in Pennsylvania

  • All the people concerned with the "front loading" of states leap frogging each other to host their primaries even earlier assumed a front runner would win the nominations in February but clearly the races are more competitive than was anticipated

  • American voters will have to choose their next president from one of two US Senators in November (McCain, Obama, Clinton) so for all the talk of the need for "change" in Washington DC voters have opted to move a current insider from the US Senate down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House instead of choosing a complete outsider to the Washington DC Beltway

But for me what stands out from all the other elements here is the fact that the "Party of the Common Man" -- the Democratic Party -- has a group of "super-delegates" who are delegates to the national convention (Denver this year) by virtue of their party/political office position not because voters empowered them by casting their primary votes for Obama or Clinton. This "super-delegate" system can not be more elitist within the party of the common man. Essentially you have about 900 people not accountable to any voters in any direct manner free to anoint the 2008 Democratic Party nominee.

So there are two campaigns going on -- the photo opportunities and supporter rallies in diners and schools around the country by Obama and Clinton to gain the popular vote coupled with a behind the scenes lobbying campaign of the "super-delegates" since they have enough votes as a group to swing the party nomination to either Obama or Clinton based on the current delegate count.

This is the same Democratic Party that always celebrated its "Jefferson-Jackson Day" dinners while failing to remember that Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson hated powerful elites like "super-delegates" wielding so much power. The Democratic Party should end its hypocrisy by either:

  • eliminating primary elections, or
  • eliminating its super-delegate/the elites know better system

Now that is what I call progressive thinking :-)


No comments: