March 29, 2008

"in all good conscience"

Anglachel takes on the super delegate rule in this insightful post. Referencing this article, which provides some history regarding super delegates, Anglachel writes:

The super delegates arose, as Elaine Karmack writes in the article linked above, because of Teddy Kennedy's arrogant campaign against a sitting president and the way he relentlessly hounded and pursued delegates to get them to vote for him rather than Carter. It is very liekly (sic) that Carter lost to Reagan (the election was that close) because of Kennedy's nasty campaign. Ironically enough, Kennedy's battle was against a rule that bound delegates to the candidate, and tried create a situation where all delegates are up for grabs. Rule 11 (H) was changed to make the pledge of the pledged delegates a little less strict, providing wiggle-room to deviate from the votes that selected the delegate: "Delegates elected to the national convention pledged to a presidential candidate shall in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them.” (Emphasis mine)

Kennedy, who is now arguing for strict adherence to the voters' sentiments, was for allowing the delegates to vote as they pleased. Wouldn't Teddy rules be fun today? Geraldine Ferraro created the compromise that allowed for the acceptance of unpledged super delegates. I find this all deeply ironic.

The bottom line is that the Obama rulz that all delegates pledged to him must vote for him and that all super delegates from states that he won must vote for him, and that no super delegate from a state Hillary won is required to vote for her (cough - KennedyKerryRichardson cough), and that all other super delegates should also vote for him because he has won the popular vote (not counting MI, FL and the states yet to vote), are in violation of the actual party rules about how delegates - super and otherwise - should exercize their convention vote.

This is the same rule that applies at all levels of the delegate selection process. Delegates elected from their precinct caucuses, as well as from their county conventions, are free to change their minds and throw their support to another candidate at the next level. Something to keep in mind as we head into the Nevada State Democratic Convention in May.

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