Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What's your hurry?

The Washington Post's Dan Balz, describes the mess that is the Democratic presidential election:
The rules of proportionality, which distribute delegates based on the percentage of vote won in a state or legislative district, make it more difficult for winners to gain a significant edge early in the process, or for trailing candidates to catch up late in the process. Winning, in other words, carries no special rewards unless the margins are more than 25 percentage points.
At the time that was written Hillary Clinton had won about 46% of the popular vote and 49% of the elected delegates. Obama had won 50% of the popular vote and 51% of the delegates.

Why is this considered a flaw in the system?

Apparently Dan is upset that the number of delegates you get is connected to the number of people who vote for you.

On the Democratic side there are two very popular candidates competing in a tight race for the nomination. We still haven't heard from the voters in 14 states. It's not a big surprise that we don't know the winner yet.

On the other side, John McCain was able to quickly dominate in a winner-take-all system despite deep hostility from members of his own party. He still has a hard time getting a majority of the vote against token opposition and has to worry about whether the base will show up in November. The Republican system is hardly more democratic, but it's faster, which I guess is what Dan Balz is looking for.

Unfortunately, he may actually have to wait until everyone gets a chance to vote.

No comments: