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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Clinton Questions Caucus Method of Voting

The latest in the "gotcha" style of politics today is the media reporting on comments made by Senator Hillary Clinton in regard to the caucus method of voting in some state primaries. At a fundraiser, she is reported as saying Democratic activists and groups like intimidated her supporters in caucuses held in Texas and Nevada. The Huffington Post has a report you can read and a video you can watch here.

It was Senator Barack Obama who was the brunt of "gotcha" style politics last week for comments he made at a private fundraiser in San Francisco pertaining to small town Pennsylvania voters being bitter and clinging to their guns and religion were made public.

The democratic party primary process has come under much scrutiny as a result of the close contest between Obama and Clinton for the nomination. Many democratic voters have learned for the first time of the existence of 796 superdelegates who make up approximately twenty per cent of the total delegates available for the candidates to compete for the 2025 delegates needed to win.

Then there is the proportional way in which delegates are awarded to the candidates by both the popular vote and then by legislative district. While at the same time the states of Florida (210) and Michigan (156) have a total of 366 pledged delegates which will not be counted due to sanctions by the democratic national committee. The 366 pledged delegates in these two states is more than 10% of the total pledged delegates up for grabs.

While Senator Clinton may be technically correct in the role party activists play in the states that hold caucuses, she of all people should have been keenly aware of this process and worked harder to win their support.

The democratic party process used in the nomination of their presidential candidate is certainly up for discussion and most likely will see revisions prior to the next election. However, all the present democratic candidates for president in this election knew the rules when they filed for the office. These rules although arguably flawed, have applied equally to all candidates.

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