Monday, July 7, 2008

The threshold difference between a real convention and a sham

Contrary to what many people say, this year's primary season is not over, not in letter nor in spirit. Every four years the Democratic National Convention marks the formal close of the primary season. The convention is where candidates are nominated, voted upon, and finalized.

Under the Democratic Parles rules adopted after the McGovern fiasco in the general election in 1972, when the voting in primaries and caucuses produces an "automatic" nominee - that is, when superdelegates are not the ones who will cast the deciding votes - the Party has a de facto nominee before the convention, although even in those situations a roll call ballot has been the norm. But if the primaries and caucuses produce an inconclusive result, the votes of superdelegates potentially take on new meaning.

For example, this year the primaries and caucuses did not produce an "automatic" or de facto nominee. This is precisely the situation where the superdelegates come into play, and they should be given the opportunity not only to vote, but to have a meaningful vote. This view should be shared by anyone who understands meaningful voting, rather than symbolic voting, as a required by a democratic commitment to the idea of meaningful enfranchisement. An election without options when options are legitimately available is no election at all.

Thus, the significance of having both Senator Clinton's and Senator Obama's names placed into nomination at The Democratic National Convention this August. Since the contest between these two candidates was not automatically determined by the primary and caucus results, a meaningfully democratic Democratic Party would provide superdelegates the opportunity to cast a meaningful ballot.

Oh, and just in case people are worried that a real convention means a weak Democratic nominee, do note that Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. did not win his first spot in 1932 as the Democratic presidential nominee until the 4th ballot when there were other names in nomination. He certainly turned out to be a strong and successful Democratic nominee as well as a President who certainly participated in making the entire world safer for democracy.

For further information, please see The Denver Group website. If you agree with the idea that the convention should not be a sham, please consider a donation to The Denver Group.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always turn to you blog for solid, useful information. Keep it up. Many thanks

July 7, 2008 at 9:12 PM  
Anonymous kavala007 said...

Once again Heidi thank you. I agree with anonymous.

Hopefully sanity and democracy will finally prevail in Denver. I'm telling those I know about the Denver Group and asking them to donate to it.

July 7, 2008 at 9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for fighting for democracy .

July 7, 2008 at 11:26 PM  

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