Due to Bernie Sanders running for president this election season, I have taken more notice of the political process and I have to say “what the actual f**k?”. The process is very convoluted and undemocratic and we are talking about the primary for the democrats, not the GOP; what a complete and utter joke.
I’m going to start with the biggest issue, super-delegates, elected officials who can vote for whichever candidate they want regardless of how the people of their state voted. The USA is supposed to be a democracy, how can this be when super-delegates can go against the public vote. Sanders has won 44.7% of the pledged delegates while Clinton has 94.5% of the super-delegates, how is this democracy?
If we take away the super delegates, Clinton’s lead over Sanders is just 239 and with the super-delegates her lead is 694, this is the figure that the likes of CNN, FOX and MSNBC like to use, giving the public a misleading impression of the presidential candidate race. Super-delegates have the option to change their allegiance at the Democratic convention later in the cycle, so should not be counted in poll results!
Next we have the different types of elections, we have caucuses, open primary and closed primary. Let’s start with caucuses, voters pick a side, literally standing on sides of the room, then a representative tried to convince undecided votes to go to their candidates side, the person with the most on their side of the room wins. Basically this is the reverse of how we picked who team captains choose their teams in school.
Next we have open primaries where people can vote for whoever they want without party registration, which is how it should be in a democratic system. Finally we have closed primaries where voters have to register as democrat, republican, green or independent before the day of the day of the election.
There is a clear issue with closed/hybrid primaries like Arizona. In the state there was clear voter suppression, lifelong democrats were suddenly registered as independents, which meant they could vote, but that vote would not be counted. Also in Arizona, Maricopa County only had 60 polling locations compared to over 200 in 2012, creating a five hour wait for some, who due to the computer system showing them as independent meant that they had a wasted journey as their vote counted for nothing.
The Arizona primary was a disaster and frankly the whole result should have been thrown out as tens of thousands of voters didn’t get to cast a valid vote due to either deliberate sabotage or a glitch in the voter database. There is even a petition to the White House demanding the federal government investigate.
The whole process is drawn out and clearly susceptible to corruption, Arizona is not the first state to face accusations of voter suppression. I fail to understand why the whole country doesn’t just go to the polls on the same day and cast their vote for their preferred candidate and the person with the majority of votes overall, not including super-delegates wins the nomination for president for their respective party.