TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › Can someone please explain the election process to me.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Can someone please explain the election process to me.

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I'm definitely not politically minded. I have my own views, and really don't care to share them too much when it comes to the election...mainly because I haven't really kept up on all the little scandels.

But, to me, it doesn't make any sense to stretch out the primaries for months. It's a few states this week, a few states the next week...by the time the next week rolls around something comes out about the candidate that won the week before, and now he or she is dropping in the poles, but he/she already won the state. So now, if people that voted for that person in Feb doesn't like them in April, but the state is already won...how is that fair?

Why don't they have all the primaries on one day, like they do in Nov? Let them campaign as much as they want and let the people decide on an even playing field?

Also, what exactly are Super-delegates?? They have some special power that regular delegates don't have? Do they get more votes? Can they vote for someone other than who the citizens voted for because they want to?

I'm seriously confused, and I've tried to look up the info online and it just confuses me more so could someone please just explain everything in simple english since I am very "politcally challenged"?
post #2 of 27
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superdelegate

I also would like to understand why all primaries arent just held on the same day
post #3 of 27
well, if they did them all on one day. What would the news people talk about for a year?
lol

broken into 2 or 3 three. east, coast, middle, west coast.
the good news is, since this is dragging on, more people have been coming out to vote
post #4 of 27
I don't even know why we have Primaries.
post #5 of 27
I have never even heard of super delegates until this election.
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superdelegate

I also would like to understand why all primaries arent just held on the same day
Ummm...thanks for the link, but I was confused after the first 3 paragraphs. Ok, first it says Democrats don't refer to them as Superdelegates, then later they say Superdelegates are most used in the Democrat party. So basically, are they tie breakers? Are they people that the party just says "ok, you have the final say" but they aren't voted in by the people? That's what it kind of sounds like.

And, I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks its stupid to drag this out over months on end. I'm sick of it already, and we haven't really gotten to the REAL compaigning.
post #7 of 27
yes they are used as tie breakers.

hehe what, a little fight is good for the blood.
post #8 of 27
All states set a certain date to hold their primary and sometimes caucus. Sometimes they are both on the same day. The convention gives them a certain time frame to set everything up and when they decide is up to the state. A primary is basically voting for whomever you feel should be the presumptive nominee or who you feel should become president. A caucus is where you can cast an extra vote for the candidate you voted for and where you chose delegates. A delegate is your typical, normal, everyday citizen. The caucus is divided by the candidate you voted for and those two groups (i.e. one group for Obama, one group for Clinton) are the ones that vote for who is elected to go on as a delegate. Mostly, the delegates are people who volunteer to go on as one.

A delegate is someone who was chosen at their caucus which is held in the precinct they live in. Delegates are chosen for both democratic candidates (Republicans do not hold a caucus) and there is a mathematical formula that is calculated to determine how many delegates each candidate will earn towards the regional convention for that state. One delegate is chosen from each precinct at the regional convention to represent the issues that were brought up at the caucus so that they can be addressed at their state convention. After the state convention, there are a select few that go on to the national convention in the summer.

As for a superdelegate....people who hold a public office title (i.e. senator, etc) are the only ones that qualify as one. The youngest one currently is only 21.

They are not obliged to go with who they originally committed or pledged to. Same goes for a delegate. Superdelegates can pretty much swing one way or another or change their pledge to support the opposing candidate. They can vote for whomever they want to and are not bound to who the voters are voting for.

The rules as decided by the national convention are as follows: the candidate that has the higher number of superdelegates and delegates is suppose to be the presumptive nominee for that party.

Once you have your presumptive nominee for both parties that is when the real campaigning begins for the presidental election in november.

I hope that this helps clear up a few things for you. I've just learned this all within the last few months.
post #9 of 27
The election process? What process? It's very simple. He/she who has the most money wins the election.

I don't know why they don't just cut out the middlemen and all the hoopla with conventions, campaigning, debates and such. Just send me the money directly to me in the mail, and I'll vote for whoever pays me the most.

The above is facetious sarcastic satire, of course, but it's not that far off the mark. The big money contributors have the ear of the candidate because the candidate needs the money to campaign for the votes. There may or may not be any promises made that need to be kept after swearing in, but if they don't, then they don't get the money for the next election.
post #10 of 27
I, for one, think it's absurd that Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, etc. are able to decide who gets the nomination.

I know and understand the concept in my head, but I still manage to be shocked every time we have another primary and realize, yet again, that the citizens of that particular state, historically, almost never have any say in who their party nominates for the general election. Most of the candidates normally drop out long before the primaries make it to their state.

Look at the Republican party...none of these states even had a chance to voice their opinions. It's insane.

I hate the primary system, and I hate that we only have two parties with any realistic chance of getting elected.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by boringjen View Post
..., and I hate that we only have two parties with any realistic chance of getting elected.
As an independent, I'm with ya 100%. I'm tired of choosing between the "lesser of two evils."
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
As an independent, I'm with ya 100%. I'm tired of choosing between the "lesser of two evils."

The saddest part of choosing between the "lesser of two evils" is that the people we elect don't run the country, special interest runs the country. And the world. It's pathetic.
post #13 of 27
Since I now live in NH maybe I can add a little insight (assuming not everyone is totally cynical about the primaries)!

The idea behind having the early primaries in little state is that it is supposed to level the playing field. If you were to start out in big states (like CA or NY) then underdogs would have no chance at all. NH may or may not be a representative cross-section of the rest of the country, but it is small enough geographically and population wise that a determined candidate with very little $$ at least has a fighting chance. An individual has the option of making an impression by going directly to the people and doing the handshaking in the Dunkin Donuts. If you were to have all the primaries at once, that would also eliminate any candidate without the means to flood the airwaves with ads.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2dogmom View Post
Since I now live in NH maybe I can add a little insight (assuming not everyone is totally cynical about the primaries)!

The idea behind having the early primaries in little state is that it is supposed to level the playing field. If you were to start out in big states (like CA or NY) then underdogs would have no chance at all. NH may or may not be a representative cross-section of the rest of the country, but it is small enough geographically and population wise that a determined candidate with very little $$ at least has a fighting chance. An individual has the option of making an impression by going directly to the people and doing the handshaking in the Dunkin Donuts. If you were to have all the primaries at once, that would also eliminate any candidate without the means to flood the airwaves with ads.
Candidates who can't flood the airwaves and have to rely on Dunkin Donuts are not viable candidates. This is precisely the problem with the primary system; people who are terrible candidates get nominated. Both parties have lost elections because of the stupidity of the primary system.

It'd be fine if the votes of the people in New Hampshire and Iowa counted more than everyone else's, but they don't, and as a result skew the nomination process. One vote should be one vote, regardless of how big of a state a person lives in.

Your argument works okay in an electoral college setting, which we should also get rid of. Votes for federal elections should have nothing to do with the state or district a person lives in. That way, New Englanders and Montanans (?) aren't underrepresented because their votes count exactly as much as everyone else's.

If anything, small states and populations are over-represented. Which, no offense, but that is less fair than smaller states being under-represented. We have a small percent of the population deciding what should happen to everyone, rather than a large percentage of the population deciding what should happen to everyone.

There are states that do represent an actual cross-section of America, with large populations. Those states should go first, if we must have staggered primaries.
post #15 of 27
While the primary system needs an overhaul, especially the Democratic Party's "reform" of it, which has made it more complicated, I believe it's still more democratic at the grassroots level than the European system of lists chosen by party functionaries.

While many Americans see no purpose to primaries, an awful lot of Germans are asking why they can't have more say about who the parties' top candidates will be.
post #16 of 27
Lets think about this. If we had a national primary where are the candidates going to flock to? The big states like PA, NY, TX, and CA. The little states get over looked or not as much attention. Primaries are giving the small states like Iowa, and New Hampshire a chance to have some real political power.
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
....There are states that do represent an actual cross-section of America, ...
Just curious....which would those be?
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by eburgess View Post
Lets think about this. If we had a national primary where are the candidates going to flock to? The big states like PA, NY, TX, and CA. The little states get over looked or not as much attention. Primaries are giving the small states like Iowa, and New Hampshire a chance to have some real political power.
I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but, umm...really? Why do the relatively small populations of Iowa and New Hampshire need to have more of a say in what happens to the rest of us in the United States? I can respect that rural areas have something to contribute, but why should they dictate what choices the rest of us have in the general election?

There aren't many people in either of those states, and it stands to reason that those citizens might be somewhat "out of the loop" when it comes to what matters to "the rest of us". Perhaps that is a good thing. God knows I grew up in tiny towns in tiny states, but I'm just not ready to accept that people living in what some might regard as relatively unimportant states with relatively tiny populations are more capable of choosing a presidential candidate than the rest of us.
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eburgess View Post
Lets think about this. If we had a national primary where are the candidates going to flock to? The big states like PA, NY, TX, and CA. The little states get over looked or not as much attention. Primaries are giving the small states like Iowa, and New Hampshire a chance to have some real political power.
Well, this may sound stupid, but why can't we give them time to campaign all over the country for the primary and have the primary all in one day (and not have half the candidates drop out before hand), then narrow it down the the candidates. After that give them a few more months to campaign and then have the presidential election? I mean, if the candidates were smart, they would go to every state, and it would be a more even playing ground to begin with.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
Just curious....which would those be?
Places with a proportionate population of different socioeconomic classes, races, religions, etc. Any state with a few large cities would be better than the ones we start with now.

If you are trying to imply that I think that because I live in Ohio, fear not, I'll be long gone before the next primary.

Regardless, I think all the states should have their primaries at once, that is just what I said if they insist on this rigamarole with the staggered primaries.
post #21 of 27
Mmmmmmmm.....I just think that, based on the way Congressional district boundaries have been manipulated to keep incumbents in office, I think that those requirements for a "proportionate population" can be pretty easily manipulated as well in order to keep the incumbent party in power.

The current method is pretty ugly, pretty exhausting, pretty boring, pretty ..... well, I could keep going on perjorative adjectives, but in the end, it's probably better than any alternatives.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by boringjen View Post
There aren't many people in either of those states, and it stands to reason that those citizens might be somewhat "out of the loop" when it comes to what matters to "the rest of us". Perhaps that is a good thing. God knows I grew up in tiny towns in tiny states, but I'm just not ready to accept that people living in what some might regard as relatively unimportant states with relatively tiny populations are more capable of choosing a presidential candidate than the rest of us.
Gee I'm not a native Granite Stater, but I'll bite on this one!
We have a lousy economy, education problems, young people getting killed in far off-places, plenty of people here up north are going to have a real hard time heating their homes next winter thanks to the drastic increase in fuel prices, families losing their homes because of foreclosures, rising crime in what used to be nice little cities - what is it that matters to the "rest of you" that we are spared?

And for the record, I don't see that NH decides much of anything for the rest of the country. We get a lot of attention for about 6 weeks every four years and then we get ignored again. But oh those six weeks! Starting about November we get up to 6 phone calls a DAY - from campaign supporters, we get invitations to rallies, and the inevitable pollsters. Then on primary day we all turn into pumpkins again for the next 4 years.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2dogmom View Post
And for the record, I don't see that NH decides much of anything for the rest of the country. We get a lot of attention for about 6 weeks every four years and then we get ignored again. But oh those six weeks! Starting about November we get up to 6 phone calls a DAY - from campaign supporters, we get invitations to rallies, and the inevitable pollsters. Then on primary day we all turn into pumpkins again for the next 4 years.
You see, though, if everyone's vote counted equally in the primary and then equally in the general election, then everyone's vote would count equally and nobody would be ignored (or we all would, depending on your level of cynicism).

The first few states decide who the two candidates will be (almost always, but not this year). That means that of all the people who go for the nomination, by the time it gets to the rest of the country, the decision has been made and all the rest of us get to do is decide Republican or Democrat. As in, we usually don't have a say in the nominee, which results in candidates who can't draw votes in the states with big populations becoming the nominee because they can draw votes in Iowa and NH.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
Candidates who can't flood the airwaves and have to rely on Dunkin Donuts are not viable candidates. This is precisely the problem with the primary system; people who are terrible candidates get nominated. Both parties have lost elections because of the stupidity of the primary system.

It'd be fine if the votes of the people in New Hampshire and Iowa counted more than everyone else's, but they don't, and as a result skew the nomination process. One vote should be one vote, regardless of how big of a state a person lives in.

Your argument works okay in an electoral college setting, which we should also get rid of. Votes for federal elections should have nothing to do with the state or district a person lives in. That way, New Englanders and Montanans (?) aren't underrepresented because their votes count exactly as much as everyone else's.

If anything, small states and populations are over-represented. Which, no offense, but that is less fair than smaller states being under-represented. We have a small percent of the population deciding what should happen to everyone, rather than a large percentage of the population deciding what should happen to everyone.

There are states that do represent an actual cross-section of America, with large populations. Those states should go first, if we must have staggered primaries.
WOW, do you have any idea how elitist that sounds? Like poo poo on the little guys, they are not important. WOW
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
Places with a proportionate population of different socioeconomic classes, races, religions, etc. Any state with a few large cities would be better than the ones we start with now.

If you are trying to imply that I think that because I live in Ohio, fear not, I'll be long gone before the next primary.

Regardless, I think all the states should have their primaries at once, that is just what I said if they insist on this rigamarole with the staggered primaries.
Oh, by all means, one must have some large cities or one is just not worth anything. I am shocked.

And I wonder who would be the lucky one to pick the state with, "a proportionate population of different socioeconomic classes, races, religions, etc." Maybe a disinterested independent?
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
Oh, by all means, one must have some large cities or one is just not worth anything. I am shocked.

And I wonder who would be the lucky one to pick the state with, "a proportionate population of different socioeconomic classes, races, religions, etc." Maybe a disinterested independent?
lol You put into words what I was thinking
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
WOW, do you have any idea how elitist that sounds? Like poo poo on the little guys, they are not important. WOW
WOW, I didn't say that's how it should be, I said that's how it actually is. A sad fact of our political system that we could discuss how to fix maybe in another thread, but one that should be taken into account by strategists. I said that THAT is why people who are unelectable get nominations. Not that people who aren't rich shouldn't run for president. WOW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
Oh, by all means, one must have some large cities or one is just not worth anything. I am shocked.

And I wonder who would be the lucky one to pick the state with, "a proportionate population of different socioeconomic classes, races, religions, etc." Maybe a disinterested independent?

Please read my posts again and notice what I actually said, that everyone's vote should count equally, and that we shouldn't have staggered primaries. Making the first states in a staggered primary system more representative of the actual voting public was a side note (which you interpret as snobbery for some reason).

Of course, not putting small ruralia on a pedestal is elitist to you, so I'm sure that sounds just awful. Isn't it kind of elitist to think that the people packed into cities are less important?

And I'd imagine the people who chose the states would be the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee, seeing as the primaries are run by the parties. And they don't necessarily need to be the same states.

There is no reason for the first two or three or four to be where they all are now except tradition, and in the case of Michigan and Florida, it's pretty obvious that people are unhappy with the system. There are two states that are the sort of states I'm talking about, vying for an earlier primary so their votes can count too, and as a result losing out.

But of course, the 4.3 million people in Iowa and New Hampshire are more important than the 28.3 million in Michigan and Florida. Because they live in smaller states. Oh, no, that sounds totally fair and totally not "elitist".
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: IMO: In My Opinion
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › Can someone please explain the election process to me.