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Democrats and democracy

 
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The irony of a party calling itself "Democratic" having something so undemocratic like "superdelegates" just makes me laugh - what makes me laugh even more is the tribalism that results in many Democrats trying to justify it ...
 
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I don't like it for the same reason, but there is indeed justification for it: It keeps the party where it is. That is, it requires a super-majority to change the direction of a party. In this case, Sanders is a Socialist, not a Democrat. If he were to win the nomination, he would pull the party further to the left. This is so dramatic a change, that even if the majority of voters want it, unless they are more than the party elite as well, the party would rather stay with the same direction. It is simply a matter of stability and party survival.

Fwiw, the Republicans also have a similar concept, though on a much smaller scale.
 
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I think people are forgetting what the primaries are about. It's a private party affair. It's not about picking a leader of your country, you do that in the elections. The primaries are for a party to shape themselves.

If a company decided that it wants to put one of their employees forward as a candidate, aren't they entitled to do so, without having the general populace vote on who it should be?
 
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The superdelegate system was created in 1984 primarily to stop Jesse Jackson from obtaining the Democratic nomination. The idea actually originated much earlier, in 1968, because it was becoming obvious that the existing process allowed for non-Democrats to motivate grassroots support for candidates who were not themselves Democrats, nor were they likely electable. The Republicans are now regretting that they recently weakened their (largely equivalent) system, as it would otherwise be able to stop Donald Trump from winning their nomination. He may not win it as it is, but he would certainly not win it if they had the same superdelegate system the Democrats now have (and, thus, you can be pretty sure they will have it back by 2020).

Trump is a good example of why superdelegates make sense: the party has a platform and, unless its members can, through their leaders or otherwise, stop an outsider from swamping the process with his or her non-party supporters, their platform can become irrelevant to their eventual nominee. Trump is no more a Republican than I am, but their nomination process is sufficiently open that he can win their nomination, while simultaneously picking and choosing what parts of their party platform he likes and rejecting those he doesn't. This puts the party in the awkward position of "nominating" someone who doesn't actually support their own platform.

It happens at the local level, too. For a long time, the Democratic committee in my county was targeted by the supporters of Lyndon LaRouche, who is either a brilliant social policy theorist, a delusional crackpot, or both, depending upon whom you ask. He lives in my county, so he has a lot of supporters here. Though it has tapered off in recent years, a number of them used to come to the biannual reorganization of the Democratic committee. At the event, anyone who lives in the county and is willing to sign a paper saying they will support the party's nominees can vote in an election to choose who the members of the local committee will be. Now, pay close attention to that: anyone who signs that paper can vote to choose the membership of the county Democratic committee. That means that if enough of Mr. LaRouche's supporters come to the event and sign the paper, they can vote themselves into the committee, and (because the committee has a limited number of members, about 192, I think) thereby exclude everyone else. I think it is fair to say they have no interest in supporting the agenda of the Democratic party, except where that agenda coincidentally matches their own in one place or another. But, as in most states, Virginia grants serious political advantages to the nominees of its major political parties. If Mr. LaRouche's people were ever able to take over the county committee, it would put him in a much more favorable position, politically, then he has ever been in as an independent candidate or politician. Thus, by one method or another, the people who are the core membership of the committee have tried to make membership accessible to anyone who truly adheres to the Democratic agenda, while trying to keep out anyone who merely seeking to obtain the political advantages of carrying a major party banner, when their own party (if they have one) has been unable to obtain those advantages for itself.

Is it undemocratic? Depends on your definition. A party has a platform, but it also has a candidate. The two do not inherently match, but the usefulness (if there is any) to the political process of having parties depends on their matching well enough that you have reason to expect a certain policy perspective from a party's nominee. When that's no longer reliable, the party has effectively ceased to exist, except in name. The duty of the party leadership to is make sure the party platform reflects the sincerely held views of the overall membership, that its candidates have the best chance possible of winning election, and that its candidates will, if elected, enact that platform into policy.

This year, we are seeing what it means when a party's leadership lacks the control necessary to fulfill that duty.

We are seeing the nomination of Donald Trump.
 
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Brian Tkatch wrote:In this case, Sanders is a Socialist, not a Democrat. If he were to win the nomination, he would pull the party further to the left. This is so dramatic a change, that even if the majority of voters want it, unless they are more than the party elite as well, the party would rather stay with the same direction. It is simply a matter of stability and party survival.



I don't like to use terms like "Socialist" - they're so vaguely defined, everyone has their own definition, and there are so many negative connotations attached to them that the moment you mention them large number of people stop thinking rationally and intelligent debate is stifled.

As an example of how vague these terms are, you say Sanders is a Socialist - but according to this political scientist he isn't a Socialist. He is a Democratic Socialist. There is a difference.

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-07-31/no-really-what-s-the-difference-between-a-democrat-and-a-socialist-

So there are two problems with your justification.

First of all, the Democrats have elected a Democratic Socialist in the past - Jimmy Carter.

And secondly, in a democracy, a political party is only as good as what it's followers want it to be. For example, in the UK, the Labour Party used to be a left-wing "Socialist" party. Tony Blair wanted to make it into a Centrist party. He was elected as the leader, and this is what happened - no one said that Labour is a left-wing party and therefore they will stop someone who wants to make it into a centrist party from being elected because of "party survival".
That's because in a democracy you cannot say "Oh, I don't think the majority of our followers believe in the values I believe this party should have, and therefore I will somehow bias the vote against them". That's rubbish - not democracy. What happens in a democracy in such a situation is that if the majority of your followers want to take the party into a different direction, you go and form a new political party - this is how democracy works. But then again, everyone, apart from Americans - who have been indoctrinated since birth - knows America isn't really a democracy.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-echochambers-27074746
 
Ahmed Bin S
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Stephan van Hulst wrote:I think people are forgetting what the primaries are about. It's a private party affair. It's not about picking a leader of your country, you do that in the elections. The primaries are for a party to shape themselves.

If a company decided that it wants to put one of their employees forward as a candidate, aren't they entitled to do so, without having the general populace vote on who it should be?



I am confused by your post. I know of no one who is saying the primaries are about choosing the leader of your country.

The issue here is - why, if the majority of registered Democrat voters vote for Bernie Sanders as their leader, can the superdelegates (469 out of 500 who support Clinton) be able to change the outcome? The answer of course is that the Democratic Party isn't really as democratic as it likes to pretend it is. Even the Republicans don't have this system where a handful of unelected individuals can override what the majority wanted.
 
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Ahmed Bin S wrote:I don't like to use terms like "Socialist" - they're so vaguely defined, everyone has their own definition


Whatevs

He calls himself a socialist, and compared to the middle of the US political spectrum, he is further left than the Democrats. Whether he is actually a Socialist according to some professor's subjective definition of it is at best academic. In US politics, he is a Socialist. I don't think more than a few people could even delineate how his platform differs from that of the US's Socialist Party, and doubtful even if you listed the Socialist Party's platform to them.
 
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Ahmed Bin S wrote:The issue here is - why, if the majority of registered Democrat voters vote for Bernie Sanders as their leader...


In Missouri (and many but not all other states) all you have to do to vote in the democratic primary is show up on election day and answer "Democrat" when they ask "what party's ballot do you want?"

So someone who always votes republican in the general election can vote for any democrat they want in the primary (and democrats can do the reverse). I have many very liberal friends who said "I'm voting for Trump because I think Hillary will clobber him in the general, but she may not be able to beat Cruz/Rubio/whoever".
 
Stevens Miller
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Ahmed Bin S wrote:...everyone, apart from Americans - who have been indoctrinated since birth - knows America isn't really a democracy.


Thank goodness you're here to disillusion us.
 
Ahmed Bin S
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Stevens Miller wrote:Trump is a good example of why superdelegates make sense



No, they don't.

If someone is getting votes from members of a party, then it means they share at least some of the values that members of that party believe in.

Suppose I create a party which is, let's choose an example, "anti-Capitalism". Call it the AC Party. People start joining AC, we start getting more and more popular. Say one of the guys who is a prominent member of AC, let's call him John, then says that he thinks Capitalism is bad, but Welfare Capitalism is the best way forward, and a lot of people in AC actually agree with him - they say they joined AC because they are against Capitalism per se, but they think Welfare Capitalism is the most realistic way forward to achieve a more just society. Now let's say John runs for leader of AC.

If AC is truly democratic, then the people who are members of AC should decide which direction the party should go in. Therefore, if I expel this member, or, if I get my friends into positions as "superdelegates" and use them to defeat John, I do not believe in the democratic process. If the members of AC vote for John to be the leader, then I have to respect that. If I find that the values of AC have changed so much compared to what I believe in, then I should leave the party and start a new party. This is democracy. And this is how it works in Europe. For example, the Labour Party recently elected a new leader. He is a "Socialist" who wants to take it back to the Left. Many in Labour think this will make them unelectable - in fact, many opposition party members also think the same, and so they wanted him to win the leadership. There were some incidents of people from opposition parties registering as Labour voters to vote for this guy to "sabotage" Labour's chances in future elections. However, the party leadership, the majority of who didn't want this "Socialist" guy to get elected didn't create any of this superdelegate nonsense - that's because they believe in the democratic process.

So America is basically a two-party country - you have two parties, and power alternates between them. A lot of people therefore have very little "choice" in who to vote for. Take the poor person who detests Corporate America - she doesn't like the Democrats, because let's face it, Democrats themselves are enablers of Corporate America, but she is poor - a single mother, who struggles to make ends meet, and she feels she will be better off with a Democrat government instead of a Republican one. This is why she has no "choice" but to vote for Democrats.
Now let's imagine a Democrat comes along who says "Hang on a second, there are millions and millions of Democrat voters who are sick and tired of this this oligarchy in America, so I am going to stand as leader and fight for the policies that these millions and millions of people who have been voting for this party believe in". Let's call him Bernie. And sure enough, he starts getting lots and lots of votes from members of this party. This of course gives the party elites, like Hillary, a heart attack. Because now all these millions and millions of people who for years had been voting for their party out of desperation and lack of choice, do have a choice to vote for someone who has the same values as them. So how do these elite members of the party, to ensure their survival, counter this. Enter the superdelegate vote. This is what superdelegate is really about - a way for the party elites to keep hold of power.

Now I can understand why many Democrat voters get really really mad when this is exposed to them - after all, if since the day you have been born you have been indoctrinated that your country is a great believer in democracy, that your country goes to war and kills millions and millions of people around the world because it believes in democracy, then you have good reason to believe your country really is democratic. However, it doesn't matter how many times you say your country is democratic and believes in democracy, it doesn't make it true, and superdelegates are anything but democratic.
 
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Ahmed Bin S wrote:The issue here is - why, if the majority of registered Democrat voters vote for Bernie Sanders as their leader, can the superdelegates (469 out of 500 who support Clinton) be able to change the outcome?


You don't understand our system. 20 states do not have party registration at all. Mine is one of them.

The answer of course is that the Democratic Party isn't really as democratic as it likes to pretend it is.


Of course. You've found us out. We only picked that name to deceive less clever people. Crafty sneaks that we are, we also made sure that the precise rules we use are carefully tucked away where no one will ever find them, so no one but our innermost cabal even knows how it all works. Oh, and you. Of course.

Even the Republicans don't have this system where a handful of unelected individuals can override what the majority wanted.


You don't understand our system. The Democratic superdelegates are all either elected members of some body of the United States government, or else elected to positions within the Democratic National Committee by the state and local commitees. I don't know if the Republican superdelegates include any unelected members or not, but, as you are much better informed about all this than I am (I'm an American, after all, so I don't know anything), I hope you'll enlighten me. And, being indoctrinated, I'm probably wrong, but my recollection is that there were almost 300 superdelegates at the 2008 Republican convention. They've weakend the options for those delegates in this year's process, but I'm betting that will change before 2020.

Hey, since I don't know as much as you, this is a chance for you to make some easy money! Care to bet the Republicans won't add more superdelegates to their next presidential convention?
 
Ahmed Bin S
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Stevens Miller wrote:

Ahmed Bin S wrote:...everyone, apart from Americans - who have been indoctrinated since birth - knows America isn't really a democracy.


Thank goodness you're here to disillusion us.



Actually, I am not "disillusioning" anyone. I have even provided a link to the study.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-echochambers-27074746

You could of course rebut the study if you are so sure that America is indeed a "democracy".

Thanks.

[post edited to meet "standards"].

 
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Ahmed Bin S wrote:

Stevens Miller wrote:

Ahmed Bin S wrote:...everyone, apart from Americans - who have been indoctrinated since birth - knows America isn't really a democracy.


Thank goodness you're here to disillusion us.


You could of course rebut the study if you are so sure that America is indeed a "democracy". I am however pretty sure you won't be able to, because it isn't, but as I said in my post above, I can understand why you would want to insist it is.


No, no, Mr. S, I wouldn't bother to try. Unable to think for myself, I will let you tell me how it all works. (Of course, I didn't say I disagreed with the study, but you know me better than I know myself, so I guess I didn't have to. You made my words up for me. Thanks!)
 
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fred rosenberger wrote:

Ahmed Bin S wrote:The issue here is - why, if the majority of registered Democrat voters vote for Bernie Sanders as their leader...


In Missouri (and many but not all other states) all you have to do to vote in the democratic primary is show up on election day and answer "Democrat" when they ask "what party's ballot do you want?"

So someone who always votes republican in the general election can vote for any democrat they want in the primary (and democrats can do the reverse). I have many very liberal friends who said "I'm voting for Trump because I think Hillary will clobber him in the general, but she may not be able to beat Cruz/Rubio/whoever".



First of all, your "many very liberal friends" clearly do not believe in democracy if they are trying to "sabotage" the other party. Maybe you should challenge them.

Secondly, the vast majority of polls suggest that Bernie Sanders will thump Trump, Cruz or Kasich by a much larger margin than Clinton would (Kasich is actually predicted to beat Clinton).

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/general_election_kasich_vs_clinton-5162.html

Therefore, there is the possibility that "many very" Republican voters are pretending to be Democrats and are voting for Clinton. Therefore, this makes Bernie Sanders recent victories even more impressive - despite all these "many very" Republicans pretending to be Democrats and voting for Clinton because the Republicans have a better chance of beating Clinton than Sanders, he has still managed to beat Clinton in 7 out of the last 8 votes!
 
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Ahmed Bin S wrote:First of all, your "many very liberal friends" clearly do not believe in democracy if they are trying to "sabotage" the other party. Maybe you should challenge them.


Maybe you should learn more about the American political process, Mr. S. It is well known and expected that people will choose to vote in opposition primaries. The parties are free to use a different system, but they choose not to. Of course, you know why, so it is surprising that you see this freely made choice, and the liberty it grants to voters, as evidence of a lack of belief or an attempt to commit sabotage. I'm sure you'll explain yourself.

Secondly, the vast majority of polls suggest that Bernie Sanders will thump Trump, Cruz or Kasich by a much larger margin than Clinton would (Kasich is actually predicted to beat Clinton).


You really need to learn more about this stuff (if that's possible, of course). Those polls are indicative of who would win if the election were held today. Clinton has been the subject of a years long effort by the Republicans to damage her popularity. Years. It's still ongoing. Sanders is virtually untouched at this point. If he becomes the nominee, he will also be subjected to the most effective opposition campaigning the Republicans can produce. If you think the polls are comparing Clinton's actual electability to Sanders's, then you either misunderstand what the data means, or else you are simply far more insightful than I am. Naturally, common sense and humility compel to think it is the latter. But you still need to learn more about this stuff.
 
Ahmed Bin S
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Stevens Miller wrote:
You don't understand our system. 20 states do not have party registration at all. Mine is one of them.



Then how about making sure 20 states have party registration?

Stevens Miller wrote:

Even the Republicans don't have this system where a handful of unelected individuals can override what the majority wanted.


You don't understand our system. The Democratic superdelegates are all either elected members of some body of the United States government, or else elected to positions within the Democratic National Committee by the state and local commitees. I don't know if the Republican superdelegates include any unelected members or not, but, as you are much better informed about all this than I am (I'm an American, after all, so I don't know anything), I hope you'll enlighten me. And, being indoctrinated, I'm probably wrong, but my recollection is that there were almost 300 superdelegates at the 2008 Republican convention. They've weakend the options for those delegates in this year's process, but I'm betting that will change before 2020.



LOL!

So this is the argument that Democrats always pull out to try and justify their very undemocratic nomination process as being democratic. Of course, this argument has been rebutted ad nauseam.

So there are two types of Democratic superdelegates - elected and non-elected.

The non-elected ones are often lobbyists.

https://theintercept.com/2016/04/06/superdelegates-lobbyists/

Unelected people having a superdelegate position is anything but democratic, unelected lobbyists is even worse.

How about the ones that are elected? Well, they were NOT elected to nominate a future party leader. They were elected for a different task. Suppose that John is a Liberal Democrat politician in the constituency that I live in and gets elected as an MP. Now suppose in future Sarah wants to be the leader of the Lib Dems and challenges for the leadership. Suppose 65% of the Lib Dem voters from the constituency I live in vote for Sarah. So the people who voted John into power want Sarah to be the leader. Why then should John have a superdelegate vote that votes against what the people who voted for him want? After all, John was elected by them, and so to say John should have a superdelegate vote in the nomination process is completely undemocratic.

It is so undemocratic that I know of no political party in Europe where this happens. It is so undemocratic that the Republican delegates cannot vote against the nominee who the people who voted for them vote for.

So, yes, the Republican Party nomination process is democratic, the Democrat Party nomination process isn't.
 
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Stevens Miller wrote:
Maybe you should learn more about the American political process, Mr. S. It is well known and expected that people will choose to vote in opposition primaries. The parties are free to use a different system, but they choose not to. Of course, you know why, so it is surprising that you see this freely made choice, and the liberty it grants to voters, as evidence of a lack of belief or an attempt to commit sabotage. I'm sure you'll explain yourself.



I think I know a fair amount about the American political process, Mr Miller. It may shock you to know this, but the idea that superdelegates exist to rig the system in favour of the Democrat elites isn't actually some "conspiracy theory" position held by people in tin-foil hats, it is a position that is held by a large number of people.

Stevens Miller wrote:

Secondly, the vast majority of polls suggest that Bernie Sanders will thump Trump, Cruz or Kasich by a much larger margin than Clinton would (Kasich is actually predicted to beat Clinton).


You really need to learn more about this stuff (if that's possible, of course). Those polls are indicative of who would win if the election were held today. Clinton has been the subject of a years long effort by the Republicans to damage her popularity. Years. It's still ongoing. Sanders is virtually untouched at this point. If he becomes the nominee, he will also be subjected to the most effective opposition campaigning the Republicans can produce. If you think the polls are comparing Clinton's actual electability to Sanders's, then you either misunderstand what the data means, or else you are simply far more insightful than I am. Naturally, common sense and humility compel to think it is the latter. But you still need to learn more about this stuff.



No, I do not misunderstand what the data means. Yes, Sanders hasn't been attacked by Republicans as much as Hillary has. He has however been attacked by the Democrat establishment loving media outlets like MSNBC which you conveniently ignore. There are currently no doubt swing voters who would vote for the Republicans right now instead of Sanders, who might, in future, actually vote for Sanders instead.
Additionally, he also hasn't been promoted by these outlets yet, so if he was to win the party nomination, he would start being promoted too.

So basically, you'll have the situation where he is attacked more by the Republicans, attacked less by the Democrats, promoted more by the Democrats. You however choose to cherry-pick the one scenario that would result in Sanders losing popularity and ignore the other scenarios - not very objective with all due respect.

Of course, I don't take these opinion polls very seriously, but many people do. I was simply making a point that the idea that Clinton will somehow fare better than Sanders against a Republican candidate isn't backed up.
 
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Ahmed Bin S wrote:

Stevens Miller wrote:
You don't understand our system. 20 states do not have party registration at all. Mine is one of them.


Then how about making sure 20 states have party registration?


If it were up to you, I'm sure that would be the case. But it's not. It's up to the members of those parties in those states, and that's not what they want. You see, the people in those states have the freedom to choose what they want, and they've used it. There's a name for that process, but I'm told I don't know what it is.

Even the Republicans don't have this system where a handful of unelected individuals can override what the majority wanted.


You don't understand our system. The Democratic superdelegates are all either elected members of some body of the United States government, or else elected to positions within the Democratic National Committee by the state and local commitees.


So this is the argument that Democrats always pull out to try and justify their very undemocratic nomination process as being democratic. Of course, this argument has been rebutted ad nauseam.


I've recently seen some nauseating attempts to rebut them, that's for sure.

So there are two types of Democratic superdelegates - elected and non-elected.


I appear to have explained myself very badly when I said, "Democratic superdelegates are all either elected members of some body of the United States government, or else elected to positions within the Democratic National Committee." I used the word "elected" to mean "elected," but I can see that was naïve.

Unelected people having a superdelegate position is anything but democratic, unelected lobbyists is even worse.


Then you'll be pleased to know there aren't any. See, all those people are elected to the positions in the party that make them superdelegates. By the party members. Elected. E-lec-ted. Maybe I need some other word...

How about the ones that are elected? Well, they were NOT elected to nominate a future party leader. They were elected for a different task.


You need to learn... aw, shucks, what do I know? I only read the document that spells out how, if one is elected to certain public offices as a Democratic nominee, that also elects them as superdelegates of the party. Those folks get to cast votes in multiple venues, including (but not limited to) their government offices and at the convention. Perhaps there is some subtlety to the notion of "elected" that means you can only be elected to cast votes in one body, but we Americans can't grasp it.

Suppose that John is a Liberal Democrat politician in the constituency that I live in and gets elected as an MP. Now suppose in future Sarah wants to be the leader of the Lib Dems and challenges for the leadership. Suppose 65% of the Lib Dem voters from the constituency I live in vote for Sarah. So the people who voted John into power want Sarah to be the leader. Why then should John have a superdelegate vote that votes against what the people who voted for him want?


Wait, wait! I know this one! Um... because that was what it said in the party plan when John got elected, and everyone knew it and agreed to it?

No?

Shoot. I thought I knew that one.


After all, John was elected by them, and so to say John should have a superdelegate vote in the nomination process is completely undemocratic.


We need an emoticon for "drops jaw." (Or maybe I'm still not clear on the meaning of "elected.")

It is so undemocratic that I know of no political party in Europe where this happens.


Remind me how the UK chooses its Prime Minister.

So, yes, the Republican Party nomination process is democratic, the Democrat Party nomination process isn't.



You know, you've failed to respond to even the most sophisticated attempts I can muster to meet you on your own intellectual plane, even when I try to limit myself to sentences of appropriate length and words with the optimal number of syllables. Alas, I concede that we are simply no match for each other. You must carry on without me, from here. I'm not up to it.
 
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Ahmed Bin S wrote:
First of all, your "many very liberal friends" clearly do not believe in democracy if they are trying to "sabotage" the other party. Maybe you should challenge them.


Why? they are following the rules as established by both parties. Why is that undemocratic? They are allowed to vote for whoever they want, for whatever reasons they want. What could be more democratic than that?

Ahmed Bin S wrote:Secondly, the vast majority of polls suggest that Bernie Sanders will thump Trump, Cruz or Kasich by a much larger margin than Clinton would (Kasich is actually predicted to beat Clinton).


Most of my friends people felt Hillary already had the election wrapped up. Voting for Bernie wouldn't help him win anything. Turns out that may have been wrong - Hillary won in Missouri by 0.2%.

Ahmed Bin S wrote:Therefore, there is the possibility that "many very" Republican voters are pretending to be Democrats and are voting for Clinton.


yes. So what?

 
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The purpose of The Pit is a place for reasoned debate. Ahmed, I suggest you moderate your tone and prose to align more closely with that ideal.
 
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Stevens Miller wrote:

Ahmed Bin S wrote:

Stevens Miller wrote:
You don't understand our system. 20 states do not have party registration at all. Mine is one of them.


Then how about making sure 20 states have party registration?


If it were up to you, I'm sure that would be the case. But it's not. It's up to the members of those parties in those states, and that's not what they want. You see, the people in those states have the freedom to choose what they want, and they've used it. There's a name for that process, but I'm told I don't know what it is.



You can't have your cake and eat it. You can't argue that the nomination process doesn't work because all these Republicans have the chance to sign up and try and sabotage it, and then say we don't want to do anything to try and reduce the chances of this happening.

Let me guess, most of those party members who don't want to reduce instances of potential sabotage belong to the Democratic establishment, and they know that even if someone tries to sabotage it, the superdelegates, the majority of whom are also part of the establishment, will simply override it anyway to get their person nominated.

Stevens Miller wrote:

Ahmed Bin S wrote:So there are two types of Democratic superdelegates - elected and non-elected.


I appear to have explained myself very badly when I said, "Democratic superdelegates are all either elected members of some body of the United States government, or else elected to positions within the Democratic National Committee." I used the word "elected" to mean "elected," but I can see that was naïve.



Stevens Miller wrote:

Ahmed Bin S wrote:Unelected people having a superdelegate position is anything but democratic, unelected lobbyists is even worse.


Then you'll be pleased to know there aren't any. See, all those people are elected to the positions in the party that make them superdelegates. By the party members. Elected. E-lec-ted. Maybe I need some other word...



Sigh. No, they're not all elected. Look, here's a list of superdelegates who are NOT elected.

https://theintercept.com/2016/02/17/voters-be-damned/

Jeff Berman
Bill Shaheen
Joanne Dowdell
Jill Alper
Minyon Moore
Maria Cardona
Jennifer Cunningham
Tonio Burgos
Emily Giske

It doesn't matter how many times you say "Elected. E-lec-ted", they are still "Unelected. Un-E-lec-ted".

Stevens Miller wrote:

Ahmed Bin S wrote:How about the ones that are elected? Well, they were NOT elected to nominate a future party leader. They were elected for a different task.


You need to learn... aw, shucks, what do I know? I only read the document that spells out how, if one is elected to certain public offices as a Democratic nominee, that also elects them as superdelegates of the party. Those folks get to cast votes in multiple venues, including (but not limited to) their government offices and at the convention. Perhaps there is some subtlety to the notion of "elected" that means you can only be elected to cast votes in one body, but we Americans can't grasp it.



Republicans, who are also Americans, can grasp how undemocratic this process is - this is why they don't follow it.

Stevens Miller wrote:

Ahmed Bin S wrote:Suppose that John is a Liberal Democrat politician in the constituency that I live in and gets elected as an MP. Now suppose in future Sarah wants to be the leader of the Lib Dems and challenges for the leadership. Suppose 65% of the Lib Dem voters from the constituency I live in vote for Sarah. So the people who voted John into power want Sarah to be the leader. Why then should John have a superdelegate vote that votes against what the people who voted for him want?


Wait, wait! I know this one! Um... because that was what it said in the party plan when John got elected, and everyone knew it and agreed to it?

No?



Again, you are conveniently ignoring the fact that many many people don't vote for a party, they vote against another party. So people will vote for a Democrat because they will be worse off under a Republican, but they certainly are not voting for undemocratic superdelegate interference in party nominations.

Stevens Miller wrote:

Ahmed Bin S wrote:It is so undemocratic that I know of no political party in Europe where this happens.


Remind me how the UK chooses its Prime Minister.



I have never said the British democratic system is perfect, quite the opposite. I have a serious problem with the way the Conservatives elect a leader - it is very undemocratic, even worse than the Democrats and superdelegates in some respects. Labour's is a much fairer system.

Stevens Miller wrote:
You know, you've failed to respond to even the most sophisticated attempts I can muster to meet you on your own intellectual plane, even when I try to limit myself to sentences of appropriate length and words with the optimal number of syllables. Alas, I concede that we are simply no match for each other. You must carry on without me, from here. I'm not up to it.



There is no need for that kind of language. I post at this site because it is a "friendly" place, and I like to think we can have debates here in a civilised manner, and without resorting to personal attacks.

Thank you.
 
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Bear Bibeault wrote:The purpose of The Pit is a place for reasoned debate. Ahmed, I suggest you moderate your tone and prose to align more closely with that ideal.



Sure, Bear. "Reasoned" is of course subjective, I have, IMHO, been reasonable, but if my tone comes across as aggressive to others, then I apologise, and will try and take more care in future to ensure this doesn't happen again.

I guess in the interest of fairness, you will also be asking other posters to moderate their tone and language, because I am sure you will agree that patronising other posters, with language such as "even when I try to limit myself to sentences of appropriate length and words with the optimal number of syllables. Alas, I concede that we are simply no match for each other. You must carry on without me, from here. I'm not up to it" is a lot more "unreasonable" than anything I have written.

Thank you.
 
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Ahmed Bin S wrote:It doesn't matter how many times you say "Elected. E-lec-ted", they are still "Unelected. Un-E-lec-ted".


From what I can tell, they ARE all elected. Maybe not by the general population, but elected none-the-less. The total group of superdelegates seeems to consist of:

current and former DNC party leaders (presumably elected by official party memebers)
State Governors (elected by their respective State's constituency)
Democratic Representatives and Senators in the U.S. Congress (elected by their State's constituency)
elected members of the DNC - elected by the party members.

So who here is "un-elected"?
 
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fred rosenberger wrote:

Ahmed Bin S wrote:It doesn't matter how many times you say "Elected. E-lec-ted", they are still "Unelected. Un-E-lec-ted".


So who here is "un-elected"?



There is a difference between elected and selected.

I provided a list.

https://theintercept.com/2016/02/17/voters-be-damned/

Why don't you contact the journalist and ask him to clarify his position. His contact details are:

https://theintercept.com/staff/leefang/

So America has a very corrupt political system which renders it an oligarchy. The Democrats claim to be driven by social justice, but the reality is very different - they are driven by self-interest. So the one thing that scares the hell out of the Democratic establishment is the millions and millions of voters who vote for them out of necessity more than anything else finally starting to truly fight for social justice. This is why they have superdelegates, and that is why Debbie Wasserman Schultz says that “Superdelegates exist really to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grass-roots activists”. [correction: please see below]**

In the old days, people would have limited access to "news" - so the establishment media, like MSNBC, would scare people of candidates like Bernie Sanders. In this day and age however people have a much larger choice of sources, and that is why Bernie Sanders has really started to smash the Democrat establishment and has made huge ground in catching up Hillary.

https://twitter.com/billmon1/status/718491047475683328

In fact, in every demographic nationally Bernie Sanders now leads Hillary Clinton apart from the rich Democrats and over-65s. This isn't a "fringe" candidate, this is a candidate that has massive support amongst the Democrat voters.

His gains are probably too late, but I really do hope that all those millions and millions of Democrat voters who for years have voted for them because they feared they would be worse off under GOP finally start a new party that is truly driven by social justice and doesn't just provide lip service. They will probably not be electable for the next decade at least, but the younger generation detest career politicians, the type the Democratic Party is full of, and hopefully this generation will ditch the Democrats and embrace this new party.

Thank you.

** [correction]: Actually, Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been misquoted. I mean, she did say that, however, by cherry-picking one sentence, the whole meaning changes and it seems she is saying that the Democrats are against grassroot activism, when in fact, if you read all of what she said, she is actually saying the opposite - that superdelegates exist to promote grassroots activism. Not that I believe her, but I think the way people are trying to mislead on what she actually said is quite disingenuous.
Her actual quote: "Unpledged delegates exist really to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists. We are as a Democratic Party really highlight and emphasize inclusiveness and diversity at our convention, and so we want to give every opportunity to grassroots activists and diverse, committed Democrats to be able to participate, attend, and be a delegate at the convention. And so we separate out those, those unpledged delegates to make sure that there isn’t competition between them."
 
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Ahmed Bin S wrote:

fred rosenberger wrote:

Ahmed Bin S wrote:It doesn't matter how many times you say "Elected. E-lec-ted", they are still "Unelected. Un-E-lec-ted".


So who here is "un-elected"?



There is a difference between elected and selected.


They are elected by a body. Not the general populous, but elected none-the-less.

Ahmed Bin S wrote:
I provided a list.

https://theintercept.com/2016/02/17/voters-be-damned/



I read that. He said they were unelected, but gave no further details. So, I dug a little deeper, and found they are elected by the party members.

Ahmed Bin S wrote:Why don't you contact the journalist and ask him to clarify his position.


Because YOU are the one here insisting they are not elected, when what I've found says they are. So I'm asking why YOU keep insisting on something that appears to be un-true.

 
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fred rosenberger wrote:

Ahmed Bin S wrote:Why don't you contact the journalist and ask him to clarify his position.


Because YOU are the one here insisting they are not elected, when what I've found says they are. So I'm asking why YOU keep insisting on something that appears to be un-true.



First of all, all superdelegates are unelected delegates. Even the dictionary definition of "superdelegate" that Google provides is [emphasis is mine]:
superdelegate
ˈsuːpədɛlɪɡət/
nounUS
noun:superdelegate; plural noun: superdelegates; noun: super-delegate; plural noun: super-delegates

(in the Democratic Party) an unelected delegate who is free to support any candidate for the presidential nomination at the party's national convention.


So, yes, all superdelegates are unelected delegates. Is unelected delegates changing the outcome of a nomination in favour of A even though there are more elected delegates in favour of B democratic? No. But I can understand why certain people like to believe it is.

Secondly, I said they are not elected because a respected journalist has made the claim and I have seen no one rebut that claim. Therefore, if you want to claim they are elected, then the onus lies on you to show Lee Fang is wrong. You can do this by writing to him and challenging him. Or, you can provide details of the "election" that took place to "elect" one of the superdelegates that Lee Fang has said is unelected.

Let's take Jennifer Cunningham. You are saying she is elected. What was the process? Where can we see the results of this "election" in which she was "elected"? I have done a quick Google search, and cannot find anything about this "election" that got her "elected". Therefore, the burden of proof lies on you to prove she was elected.

Thank you.



 
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These are the ways I found to become a superdelegate:

1) Hold a political office - i.e. Governors, Senators, Congresspersons...all elected.

2) A small group consisting of: current or former president, vice president, Senate leader, House leader, or DNC chair. All but the last are obviously elected. According to the DNC charter, the chairperson (and other party board members) are ELECTED at a meeting of the Democratic National Committee.

3) By holding a high-level position in the DNC. Article 3 Section 2 lists out about 20 ways that can happen. They tend to be Chairpersons of various Democratic parties in U.S. territories, Governors associations, Mayoral organizations, President of the college democrats of America, Chairperson of the democratic attorney association...and on and on. I do not have the time, resources, or will to research how each an every one of those groups pick their leaders, but I would be sincerely amazed if there wasn't some kind of election.
 
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I think you have an unnecessarily restricted notion of the word "democratic", Ahmed. I'm not here to apologize for American politics -- it's extremely entertaining and nobody gets killed, unlike in many other countries, but entertainment and government aren't the same thing. Anyway, democracy isn't just a simple matter of getting everybody together and counting up the votes. There's a lot of different ways to have "democracy". So some things that people describe as democracy, you don't recognize them as democracy. That's fine, categories don't come in neat boxes, so you can advocate for your definition but you can't claim it's the right one.

 
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Paul Clapham wrote:. . . American politics . . . nobody gets killed, . . .

Apart from the fact that being President of the USA seems a very dangerous occupation. Was JFK the last President to stop a bullet?
 
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:Apart from the fact that being President of the USA seems a very dangerous occupation. Was JFK the last President to stop a bullet?



Well, JFK was definitely the last president that was assassinated with a bullet. However, if you asking about "stopping a bullet", ie. shot, but survived, that would be President Reagan.

Henry
 
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Paul Clapham wrote:I think you have an unnecessarily restricted notion of the word "democratic", Ahmed. I'm not here to apologize for American politics -- it's extremely entertaining and nobody gets killed, unlike in many other countries, but entertainment and government aren't the same thing. Anyway, democracy isn't just a simple matter of getting everybody together and counting up the votes. There's a lot of different ways to have "democracy". So some things that people describe as democracy, you don't recognize them as democracy. That's fine, categories don't come in neat boxes, so you can advocate for your definition but you can't claim it's the right one.



I agree with you, Paul, democracy itself is a vague term too and has different meaning for different people, and I wasn't actually saying otherwise, so let me clarify.

Take Neil for example, he's a really caring guy, he is always helping people, running errands for his elderly neighbour, volunteering with disabled children on the weekend, being really nice to his wife etc. He however doesn't consider animals to be sentient beings, so isn't nice to them - he sees a cat sitting on his car and he pushes it off, a dog comes running to him and he kicks it away etc. Is Neil a caring guy or not? The answer is that he is both a caring guy and he isn't. In the context of how he deals with human beings, he is a very caring guy. In the context of how he deals with animals, he isn't a caring guy.

Similarly, a country can be both democratic and undemocratic at the same time. Take Britain for example, I would describe it as a democracy because it meets many of the criteria for what a democracy should be. However, we have an unelected House of Lords - this is extremely undemocratic.

When the authors of the study said that America is an oligarchy and not a democracy, they naturally are not treating democracy as something which is binary, instead they are trying to say that one of the most fundamental criteria of a "true" democracy, namely elected personnel working in the interests of the people that vote them in, isn't being met, and therefore one can say America isn't a true functioning democracy. This is exactly what I have been trying to say, but maybe I didn't explain myself correctly.

The point of my post was about tribalism - how Democrats who claim to be democratic will try and support an undemocratic process just because their side is doing it. This is what many human beings are like - they aren't driven by objectivity or principle, but tribalism. So if the Republican party had this superdelegates business, and the Democrats didn't, and Hillary said "look at all those Republicans over there, how undemocratic their superdelegate business is", you can be pretty sure that the overwhelming majority of Democrats who currently support superdelegates would be saying the process is undemocratic.

I recently had a discussion about tennis and equal pay with some friends, and I sat there laughing to myself at how people had deceived themselves that they believe in equality as some principle, when in reality they were driven by their own personal bias.
As I am sure you are aware, Djokovic caused quite a stir recently when he said that pay shouldn't be equal but should be dependent on who is generating more money. I agree with him, if men are generating more money, they should earn more, if women are generating more money, they should earn more. Some of my friends however were vehemently against this, they said that in the name of "equality" men and women should be paid the same. Now one way to find out whether you really believe in something is to reverse the roles, and if you still believe in it, then you do truly believe in it. So, I said to my friends, if we believe in equality, why don't we let men and women compete against one another in non-contact sports? Why separate them? Why not let women play against men and beat them? And they all said that this wouldn't be fair, because men will dominate, and therefore they should play separately. But here's the thing - now let's reverse roles and imagine that instead of men being better than women, women were better than men, and therefore, if they competed against one another, women would win more and thus earn more. Now I can bet everything I have that my friends and people like Martina Navratilova would all be shouting "SEXISM", "INEQUALITY", "THIS ISN'T FAIR, WOMEN ARE BEING TREATED AS SECOND CLASS AND ARE NOT BEING ALLOWED TO COMPETE WITH MEN". But they're not. They are all happy for there to be sexism, inequality, and women to be treated as inferior to men, by not being allowed to compete against them. In other words, whether something is right or wrong isn't driven by some ideological principle, it is instead driven by personal bias. Whether men and women should compete against one another isn't driven by some ideological principle of equality, it is driven by personal bias - in this case the bias is that women should get equal pay as men regardless of anything else, and therefore, they should not compete against one men because if they did, they would mostly lose.

Similarly, whether superdelegates are right or wrong isn't, for the majority of Democrats, driven by some ideological principle, it is driven by personal bias - the bias here is tribalism - my side is doing it, therefore I will support it, if the other tribe were doing it, I would be sitting here criticising it.

 
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fred rosenberger wrote:These are the ways I found to become a superdelegate:

1) Hold a political office - i.e. Governors, Senators, Congresspersons...all elected.

2) A small group consisting of: current or former president, vice president, Senate leader, House leader, or DNC chair. All but the last are obviously elected. According to the DNC charter, the chairperson (and other party board members) are ELECTED at a meeting of the Democratic National Committee.

3) By holding a high-level position in the DNC. Article 3 Section 2 lists out about 20 ways that can happen. They tend to be Chairpersons of various Democratic parties in U.S. territories, Governors associations, Mayoral organizations, President of the college democrats of America, Chairperson of the democratic attorney association...and on and on. I do not have the time, resources, or will to research how each an every one of those groups pick their leaders, but I would be sincerely amazed if there wasn't some kind of election.



So just to clarify once more to those who might not be Americans, no Democratic superdelegates are elected delegates, no matter how many times Democrats try to tell you they are. None. For example, take Bill Clinton. He was elected President years ago. He was never elected as a delegate. Saying superdelegates are elected delegates is a bit like saying the UK House of Lords is an elected chamber.

Oh, so first you were saying that they are all elected, and now you are saying you'd be "seriously amazed" if they weren't all elected. I am sure you can see that the two are not the same.

Ok, so this is how things work in a debate. If you are going to make a claim and pass it off as fact, you have to have some strong evidence for it. You cannot simply pass something off as fact because you would be "sincerely amazed" if it wasn't the truth.

I made a claim that superdelegates are not elected delegates. They're not. But the goalposts were moved by some posters, who then started arguing that they might not be elected delegates, but they have still been elected into other positions. I disagreed with this too, I said that not all are. I have my evidence, note, evidence, not proof. My evidence is that Lee Fang is a good journalist who does good work, and so he isn't likely to make an outlandish claim, and having looked online, I can find nothing that shows how someone like Jennifer Cunningham was elected. Now I could be wrong, maybe she was, but as I can find no evidence that she was, it is reasonable for me to believe she wasn't elected. Therefore, for you to make the claim that they are all elected, the burden of proof is on you to prove she was. In other words:

This is the classic absence of evidence scenario - if there is no evidence that Jennifer Cunningham was elected, then it is reasonable for me to assume she wasn't. Just like if there is no evidence that I am the King of England, it is reasonable for you to assume I am not.
To say she wasn't unelected, the burden of proof therefore lies on you to prove she was elected. But you haven't. Therefore, until you prove she was elected, you cannot say Lee Fang is wrong that she wasn't elected.

Thank you.

 
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Ahmed Bin S wrote:He was elected President years ago. He was never elected as a delegate.


You contradict yourself right there. Being elected president ALSO elects him as a super-delegate at the same time. It's in the charter of the DNC. Just because someone is NOT AWARE that voting him in as one also elects him as the other doesn't mean it didn't happen.
 
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fred rosenberger wrote:

Ahmed Bin S wrote:He was elected President years ago. He was never elected as a delegate.


You contradict yourself right there. Being elected president ALSO elects him as a super-delegate at the same time. It's in the charter of the DNC. Just because someone is NOT AWARE that voting him in as one also elects him as the other doesn't mean it didn't happen.



No, I am not contradicting myself. Being elected for being President in 1996 doesn't elect him for being a superdelegate in 2016, it gives him the position of a superdelegate by virtue of a very undemocratic DNC charter. There is a difference between being elected for something and being given it. I mean, just because a person voted for their Democrat candidate to be elected, it doesn't mean they voted for the Democrat President to be a superdelegate, everyone knows this, it is the undemocratic DNC charter that results in the President becoming a superdelegate.

If I work for a company and the company has a Charter that whoever gets elected as an employee representative also gets the opportunity to go on ten holidays a year, and if I feel that it is important to have an employee representative that looks after the interests of the employees, and I vote in Stephanie, then I did not vote for Stephanie to get ten holidays a year, I voted for her to become an employee representative, and the fact Stephanie gets ten holidays a year is due to the Charter being stupid.

Here's another thing - the DNC Chair remains a superdelagate for life. Being something for life is about as undemocratic as something can be, but hey, I am sure some Democrats will still try and tell you there is a good democratic reason behind allowing someone to hold a position where they have a say for life.
 
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Interestingly, there was an article in the New York Times about this today.

It talks about how neither major party is purely democratic. (so let's not make this just about the Democrats). It also covers why the system is setup the way it is. (part of which is protecting the party "brand".

The United States has never been purely democratic though so this shouldn't come as a surprise. For one thing we have the Senate in which each person's power is inversely proportional to the size of their state. And the House of Representatives where larger states get more power. And then we have the race for President where people in swing states get a disproportionate influence (whereas my state is virtually guaranteed to have our electoral college votes go to the Democratic candidate.)

I think our system could be better. However, I don't think that pure democracy is needed to achieve that. And I don't think it is unreasonable for the Democratic party to not want Sanders as their candidate. He is on the record as saying he is not a Democrat!
 
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:It talks about how neither major party is purely democratic.


It seems to me that the words "democracy" and "democratic" have been so misused as to be virtually meaningless now - particularly since all the "democratic republics" of Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia - and I think we need some new ones.

The word "democracy" comes from the Greek meaning "rule of the people", so I don't see how any single political party in a multi-party democracy can claim to be "democratic" - except, perhaps in their belief in the fairness of whatever system brings them or their opponents to power - since, as a single party, which presumably has an opposition, they cannot reasonably claim to represent "the people".

They may possibly, in some Western democracies, be able to claim to represent the majority but, having lived in the UK and Canada for most of my adult life, I'd say even that claim is tenuous. In Canada, only three governing parties since 1917 have represented a majority of electors, let alone "the people" (1940, 1958, and 1984); and in the UK it hasn't happened since 1931.
Margaret Thatcher - the "Iron Lady" and neo-Con darling of the 80's - never polled more than 43.7%, which means that, discounting Northern Ireland, which has different parties, 54% or more of the population voted against her three times. It is any wonder that people claim not to be represented?

In Europe at least, most countries have some form of proportional representation, and so are often governed by coalitions that can at least claim a mandate from those who voted; but lord it's a convoluted process ... and often not the most stable. How many governments has Italy had since 1945? I don't know, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was more than the number of years.

The solution? I dunno; but 4GS let's stop mis-using the word "democracy".

Winston
 
fred rosenberger
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Ahmed Bin S wrote:No, I am not contradicting myself.


Clearly, we're just going to have to disagree here. I maintain that when someone is listed as the democratic presidential candidate, if they win the ELECTION, they are ELECTED to all the positions associated with the office. PotUS. Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces. Superdelegate for all future elections while he/she is still alive or the DNC charter is amended. Probably several other things as well that I'm not aware of.
 
Ahmed Bin S
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fred rosenberger wrote:

Ahmed Bin S wrote:No, I am not contradicting myself.


Clearly, we're just going to have to disagree here. I maintain that when someone is listed as the democratic presidential candidate, if they win the ELECTION, they are ELECTED to all the positions associated with the office. PotUS. Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces. Superdelegate for all future elections while he/she is still alive or the DNC charter is amended. Probably several other things as well that I'm not aware of.



Sigh. No. The President isn't elected as Commander in Chief. The Commander in Chief is an unelected position.

To be elected for a position, there has to be some sort of ... elections. If there are no elections for Commander in Chief, then you were not elected as Commander in Chief.

Say there are two positions, A and B. Say you have elections for A, but there are no elections for B. You get B by virtue of A.
Now you have all these people who want to elect someone for A. They might not want to elect this person for B too, just A. But they have no say in electing someone for B. So Alan wants to vote for John for A, because he thinks Sally isn't nice. Alan however thinks that John will suck at B, and he think Cathy would do a much better job. He wants to vote for Cathy for B. However, there are no elections for B, and so Alan votes for John for A. Now he knows John will also get B by virtue of A, but you cannot possibly say John and other people elected John for B, because they didn't. They elected him for A, and he got B by virtue of A.

Now in some cases getting B by virtue of A isn't a big deal, and a perfect example is getting Commander in Chief by virtue of being President, because when people vote for a President, they usually want him or her to also be in charge of the armed forces. So even though the Commander in Chief is an unelected position, it isn't a big deal, because most people who want someone as President want them as Commander in Chief too. Democracy didn't lose out. It is however a major problem when it comes to superdelegates, because democracy can lose out here. Suppose the vote for leadership results in Alice and Bob getting the same number of delegates. Bill Clinton has his vote left. He votes for Bob. Bob wins. So Bill Clinton wasn't elected as a superdelegate, he was elected as President when some of the people voting today were not even born (so they had absolutely no role in electing him as President), yet he can still change the outcome of party nomination 20 years after being elected as President. I don't know how anyone can seriously pretend this is democratic.

I don't think I know of anyone who thinks Bill Clinton was elected as a superdelegate, he wasn't, this isn't even something on which people are divided.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Ahmed Bin S wrote:Sigh. No. The President isn't elected as Commander in Chief. The Commander in Chief is an unelected position.


Or a role that is part of being President.

Ahmed Bin S wrote:To be elected for a position, there has to be some sort of ... elections. If there are no elections for Commander in Chief, then you were not elected as Commander in Chief.

Say there are two positions, A and B. Say you have elections for A, but there are no elections for B. You get B by virtue of A.


To me, that seems like you are voting for A and B at the same time. And in this case, that B is a subset of A.

Let's take a non-political example. Suppose we run a binding poll on the ranch and the choices are:
  • Jeanne should remain a Marshall at the Ranch
  • Jeanne should remain as a non-moderator member of the Ranch
  • Jeanne should be banned from the Ranch


  • Since a Marshall is a moderator plus some of other stuff, that makes being a moderator a subset. And something that is implicitly being voted on.
     
    Ahmed Bin S
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    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Interestingly, there was an article in the New York Times about this today.

    It talks about how neither major party is purely democratic. (so let's not make this just about the Democrats). It also covers why the system is setup the way it is. (part of which is protecting the party "brand".

    The United States has never been purely democratic though so this shouldn't come as a surprise. For one thing we have the Senate in which each person's power is inversely proportional to the size of their state. And the House of Representatives where larger states get more power. And then we have the race for President where people in swing states get a disproportionate influence (whereas my state is virtually guaranteed to have our electoral college votes go to the Democratic candidate.)

    I think our system could be better. However, I don't think that pure democracy is needed to achieve that. And I don't think it is unreasonable for the Democratic party to not want Sanders as their candidate. He is on the record as saying he is not a Democrat!



    Interesting read!

    I wasn't really trying to say Republicans are more democratic than Democrats, I was merely saying that superdelegates is undemocratic but some people will keep insisting there isn't anything worrisome about it, because of their tribalism.

    I think whether Sanders is or isn't a Democrat is a bit more nuanced.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2016/feb/23/bernie-sanders-democrat/

    I agree there isn't a such thing as a pure democracy, but like you, I think improvements to the current system can be made, including the UK. We could start off by having elections for everyone who wants to sit in the House of Lords, making the Head of State an elected position (the Monarch can stand as a candidate), and having proportional representation.
     
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