New for 2012
by Jerome Armstrong, Thu Dec 31, 2009 at 04:06:05 PM EST
This seems like a significant change of rules for the DNC nominating process. If adopted, the superdelegates would remain with the status of being a delegate (there is not a decrease in number), but they would no longer be able to decide who to vote for based on their own, but instead rely upon the contests in their states.
The reform would increase the amount of delegates to the winning candidate in the contest. This is much needed. It was not a good system that produced results like the NV caucus, where the candidate who had the most popular votes did not also lead in the delegates. It's also a fault of the nominating system, that a candidate can win a contest by a good margin 5-10% margin, but not gain much in the way of delegate advantage from winning.
The winner-take-all system, as was California in the disaster of '72 for Democrats, and still is that way in many Republican states (they await their disaster in '12 imo), gave way to the proportional system, but adding back the superdelegates from their states to a winner-take-all scenario strikes a nice balance.
The only question I have about it though is the preponderance of superdelegates from nearby DC states (MD & VA) and DC itself. I don't know the exact numbers, but its a lot. Is DC going to become a megastate because of its bulk of superdelegates?
I don't expect the Rules committee to take this recomendation without some resistence. Its a committee that's packed with people that like to exert influence, and this will take away their being able to play phone tag with the Presidential candidates in the future. Hopefully, that's a mute point because Kaine & Obama are on board.
This is a much needed reform that is very much welcome.
The recommendations include pushing back the window of time during which primaries and caucuses may be held; converting unpledged delegates (DNC members, Democratic Members of the House and Senate, Democratic Governors and Distinguished Former Party Leaders) to a new category of pledged delegate called the National Pledged Party Leader and Elected Official (NPLEO) delegates, which will be allocated to Presidential candidates based on the state wide primary or caucus results; and establishing a “best practices” program for caucus states to improve and strengthen their caucuses. Under the Commission's recommendations - the pre-primary window could not begin until February 1st or thereafter, and the primary window could not begin until the second Tuesday in March or thereafter.
The commission had 3 orders:
1. Changing the window of time during which primaries and caucuses may be held
2. Reducing the number of super delegates
3. Improving the caucus system.
They fell short on all three imo.
I don't think much of caucuses (other than Iowa's great tradition), and "best practices" are what the NV caucus gave us in 2008-- a fiasco.
The calendar direction is probably not going to have much power I predict, to states like NH & IA-- they'll decide what they want to decide and the parties will follow. The only way it might work is if its in concert with Republicans, but there's been no indication of that happening to date.
And there was not a decrease in the amount of superdelegates.
Still, they came up with a very good reform measure that was able to gather near-total support in the committee, and one which makes a not-so-great system somewhat-better than it was before.