Friday, February 15, 2008

Another Good, Simple Solution to the SuperDelegate Problem

is offered by Mark Myers, one of the co-creators of the Superdelegate Transparency Project (which I'm also involved with, as a ground troop). He explains why only w.a.t.b.s complain about the voters trying to influence the supers to do the right thing, and offers a superb solution that both avoids the train wreck we could be facing this time, but allows the supers to serve the purpose they intentionally were intended to serve (helping choose the candidate when not 2, but 3 or more, make it to the Convention, none with 50% of the popular vote):

The solution, if you ask this outsider, is simple. Keep the supers, but after 2008 don't allow them to vote on the first nominating ballot. If a candidate wins the majority of pledged delegates, he or she deserves the nomination. If the nomination process goes to a second round, let the supers step in and cast votes.

There are other good ideas too, like Rachel Maddow's (have instant runoff voting), but this is a good one. Most important is to recognize that this problem is solvable by anyone who sincerely wants to solve it, and candidates and trolls who muddy the issue should be shushed.

1 comment:

Rob Richie said...

You are absolutely right that having superdelegates only vote in the 2nd round makes great sense. Certainly this year they should agree not to trump the will of the voters as expressed in pledged delegates.

Instant runoff voting makes so much sense in these contests too. I would do it this way:

1. Voters have option to rank candidates.
2. Count first choices.
3. Any candidate below the 15% viability threshold is eliminated. Their ballots are added to to totals of the first viable candidate ranked on their ballot.
4. 90% of delegates are allocated based on the resulting vote by a proportional system.
5. Instant runoff voting is used to determine the state's majority winner. That candidate gets the remaining 10% of delegates as a bonus.