Clinton Calls Pledged Delegates a Misnomer
by jdusek, Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:44:03 PM EDT
Which of these two scenarios do you think is the most fair?
1. You voted in a primary that you knew in advance wouldn't be awarding any delegates, and despite some unsuccessful attempts to legitimize the results after the fact, your vote will remain a symbolic gesture.
2. You voted in a primary that awarded your candidate a certain number of delegates, but some of those delegates that you helped elect have decided to invalidate your vote after being convinced to switch sides.
Hillary Clinton is asking people to sign a petition urging the Democratic Party to count the symbolic votes in Florida and Michigan. "The delegates they elected won't be seated at the Democratic National Convention in Denver this August," she writes, ignoring the fact that no delegates were actually elected in either contest. "That's just not fair to those voters."
At the same time, Clinton is suggesting that lobbying Obama's pledged delegates to switch their votes is fair game. "There is no such thing as a pledged delegate," she said today. Clinton dismisses the idea that pledged delegates must be loyal to the voters whose voices they were selected to represent. "The whole point is for delegates, however they are chosen, to really ask themselves who would be the best president and who would be our best nominee," she said.
Like most people, I support finding a way for Florida and Michigan to have their votes counted. But I disagree with Clinton's assertion that it's "not fair" to voters in these states if for some reason no mutually-agreeable solution can be found. These people cast their votes knowing they would not award any delegates, so there are no surprises here.
But for people in other states who elected delegates to represent their choices, it seems incredibly unfair to actively encourage those delegates to break their pledges. If a pledged delegate switches sides, they are essentially overturning the votes of all the people who they promised to represent. Even if it is within the rules to do so, if Clinton believes that every vote should count, then how can she support disenfranchising voters in this way?
How would you feel if the delegate representing your vote was encouraged to switch their allegiance?
P.S. -- This is my first diary folks, so kid gloves please.