Thursday, May 01, 2008

The will of the people?

Do you remember the 2000 presidential election when there was so much dissension over the popular vote versus the Electoral College? The claim by some Democrats was that Gore won the popular vote and the 'will of the people' should prevail. Bush, even though he won the Electoral College, shouldn't end up being president, they said.

You're probably wondering why I'm bringing this up. I cannot help but see the comparison of those claims in 2000 to some of the discussion and hand-wringing that is developing over the 2008 Democrat Primary.

Aside from the 'some are more equal than others' perspective inherent in the presence of super delegates, the Dems have super delegates who are not beholden to any candidate. They also have regular delegates pledged through the primary system. Sen. Barack Obama leads in delegates and in the popular vote, but there are nine states yet to weigh in. If Florida and Michigan are counted, Sen. Hillary Clinton comes within 12,000 in the popular votes and might be able to overtake Obama in this category.

This sets up an interesting dilemma for the Democrat Party. Do they stand by their 'will of the people' mantra which is still recited even today and insist that the delegates ignore their obligations in order to vote for the candidate who got the most popular votes? Or, do they expect the delegates to vote as pledged, even if it means a contradiction with their currently espoused argument relative to the 2000 race?

They are in a no-win situation. Either they contradict themselves or they change the rules midstream. Either way, the results will give fodder to conservative pundits and bloggers for months.


Hooda Thunkit said...

The dem's conundrum seems to be be of their own doing and could have been avoided by establishing a policy..., and sticking with it.

Instead, they now find themselves in Chaos ;-)

Tim Higgins said...


Isn't it interesting that the party named for democracy, and who claims to champion the rights of all has created a system whose decision will be based on an "elitist group"? What role will Michigan and Florida yet play in Denver? Why are Democrats so concerned about the influence of Republicans in their primaries? Will the threatened riots occur in Denver to mark the anniversary of the festivities in Chicago in 68?

Get ready folks, the circus is coming to town!

(As a side note, why is it that Democrats create disturbances during their own conventions? Do hate each other as much as they seem to hate Repulicans?)

Robin said...

The Democratic party really shot themselves in the foot over Florida and Michigan. That whole situation really didn't make any sense to me, to begin with.

The who "delegate" and "super delegate" stuff doesn't make any sense to me, either. The only thing that should matter are the actual votes coming from the people.

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