13 May 2008

OK. What the fuck is a Superdelegate?

I did my best trying to find an answer that made sense and wasn't rife with double talk bullshit. It was a tall order.

Here's what I gleaned: After the primary elections the Republican and Democratic parties each hold a National convention. Picture a big televised party that you'd never wanna go to because everyone there is full of shit.

Well, at this convention the person who will represent the party and run in the Presidential election is nominated. Part of this nomination is determined by delegates, who represent the number of votes won at primaries or caucuses through the primary period. Each delegate is a representation of the popular vote for each district. The popular vote is simply the result of the votes from people like you and me. The winner of the popular vote usually wins the election (but not always - sometimes the outcome of the vote of the Electoral College is different - which is separate can of worms. The Electoral College are a group of people who formally elect the president, however their vote happens after the popular vote. To become president, a candidate must get more than half of the Electoral College votes which 270 out of 538 total votes. But lets not get into the intricacies and inconsistencies of democracy now, k?

So, the superdelegate is an elected official in the Democratic Party who gets to cast an individual vote for his/her candidate of choice not based on the votes of citizens.

Many people feel that the appointment of superdelegate candidates, and/or their sheer existence is not in keeping with the democratic ideals of election.

Superdelegates can controvert the will of the people in a close election, and they do not have to make their choice based on popular vote. Other factors like personal relationships, political alignments, or simply like or dislike of a person may inform the choice of a superdelegate. People often criticize this process of nomination because it does not fully represent the will of the people.
So basically superdelegates are people with minds of their own whereas delegates are simply instruments of their affiliated party. Got it?

However term "superdelegate" itself was used originally as a criticism of unpledged delegates. Arguments were made that these delegates, who would be predominantly white and male, would have more power than other delegates because of their greater freedom to vote as they wish.

At the 2008 Democratic National Convention the superdelegates will make up approximately 1/5th of the total number of delegates. The closeness of the race between Hillary and Obama, has increased the chance that the superdelegates will play a decisive role in selecting the nominee, a prospect that has caused unease among some Democratic Party leaders.

Honestly, I still have no fucking clue what a Superdelegate is.

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