Super Delegates and Choices

Posted: February 13, 2008 in Politics

This morning’s edition of The Kitsap Sun has a front-page (below the fold) article about “Obama Fans Want Support of State’s Superdelegate Slate”. It seems “The Illinois senator says those delegates supporting Clinton – all but a few – are going against the will of the state caucus voters.” This is an article by David Ammons of the Associated Press. If you don’t wait too long, you can read the article (or perhaps you might have to go to the archives) on line at http://www.kitsapsun.com/. Today it shows up in the righ-had column under “More Headlines” as “Obama Calls for Support of All State’s Superdelegates”.

So, why am I ambivalent about this? In the past I have had reservations about all the complaining about the electoral college that is elected and meets to elect each president. Many people believe the electoral college is an anachronism and should be abolished. Their reasoning is the vote should be a strictly popular vote. Whenever a candidate is defeated at the polls after garnering the most popular votes, his/her supporters repeat that the electoral college should be abolished. I can sympathize with their feelings, however I’ve adopted a different position because of some of the terrible choices that have been made in recent years. My opinion is they should return to the original idea of the electoral college and just elect members to meet and decide who the best candidate is. I think the members should be uncommitted like all the super-delegates were originally supposed to be. As much as I tend to agree that the super-delegates should reflect their state’s popular vote, and there is a difference between this situation and the meeting of the electoral college, I am bound by conscious to transfer my beliefs from the electoral college to the party convention.

I would offer some supporting evidence to my feelings in Al Gore’s book, “The Assault on Reason”. In it he details the many ways our democracy is in jeopardy by the electorate that remains ignorant because they have become cynical because they are ignorant because they have limited access to the information that would make them a “well informed citizenry”. Mr. Gore advances the argument that our democracy is in grave danger because of this slide into the depths of ignorance and despair.

I come in contact with people every day who aren’t interested in politics. Many would rather divert their attention to sports or entertainment. When I challenged a friend with the question, “have you ever heard of bread and circuses?” he answered “no”. So I enlightened him where that phrase came from. Surprise: he got interested in politics.

The fact that our precinct enjoyed a 467% increase in attendance between the last presidential election caucuses, to last Saturday’s tells me that there is a significant improvement in political engagement. I will continue to campaign for improved communications between members of my community – especially my precinct. I hope the members I distributed my calling card to will contact me by e-mail or other means so I can keep our dialog going and spur them to greater activism in the coming election cycle as well as the ones following. As the song says, “This could be the start of something big”.

Now I have some pressing issues to attend to; and in the interest of getting this posted, I won’t edit it. So, if it doesn’t meet the usual standards of quality (snicker) that you see in my other posts, well…

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