Primaries and Caucuses were things that I had never really paid much attention to until this year and it has been eye opening. I’ve always questioned if we really had a say when it came to general elections because of the way the Electoral College is set up and now Primaries really have me wondering. I know that the Founding Fathers set it up to protect the smaller states, but this whole delegates idea seems like it can be easily tainted. For example, the Democrats have a system set up with regular delegates from all the states and then 795 Superdelegates. These Superdelegates are party activists, lawmakers and former presidents. For one thing, each of the Supers get two votes, one in their home state and then one at the Democratic National Convention. Is that fair? I have also heard that just one of their votes is equal to 13,000 of the “little people” votes. These Supers are also free to vote any way that they are bribed – I mean choose – despite which way their state may have gone. And finally the light has been shed on another interesting factoid: regular delegates don’t necessarily have to vote the way of their state either. Hillary has been trying to woo them her way. I live here in Florida where the Democrats votes don’t count either because they upped their Primary to be more important. So instead of being important, they just don’t count.
The Republicans are not all that much better. Their delegates can do much of the same thing. An interesting thing happened in Louisiana as well. Mike Huckabee won the state, but not by a margin of 30% or more. This meant that Louisiana could allocate their delegates to whomever they wanted which was for McCain. So what does the popular vote mean if it doesn’t represent where most of the delegates should be allocated? Are you beginning to see what I mean here? And then we also have those candidates who have dropped out of the race, but had their own delegates. They can send those delegates where they want as well despite the fact that voters put their backing behind them. So since Mitt Romney won Michigan, he sent his Michigan delegates to McCain.
And finally, we have the way this whole process is set up calendar wise. I could get behind the idea of breaking us up into regions and then switching which region gets to go first each year. That would seem most fair. Of course, I think the best idea is a countrywide Primary like the general election. The problem with what we have now is that some states, particularly those with Republican voters, don’t really have any choice at this point in the election. Even for me in Florida, I was on my fourth choice. Is it really the people choosing when candidates drop out because of money? Is it really the people choosing when we are given so few to choose from? Is it really the people choosing when big wigs from Washington DC are making the choice?