Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Monday, March 31, 2008

Of the 2000 Presidential election it has been said that the margin of error exceeded the margin of victory-- an interesting thing, since what it means is that the ability to accurately count the votes cast was too complex for our existing computational methodologies. Whether this means that the nation is so deeply divided that strictly democratic solutions are no longer an adequate approach in and of themselves is not really the point: that's not how our government is really set up. We're not a Swiss canton, after all, and that sort of direct democracy operates in an environment closer to the Rouseauian ideal size, where counting is less of a problem. Still, it is interesting that we are looking at a Democratic nominating process where the same thing seems to be taking place. The New York Observer reports that, "[i]f Michigan’s and Florida’s delegations remain unseated, there will be approximately 4,047 delegates at the August Democratic convention, making 2,024 the magic number for either candidate. Right now, Obama has 1,631 (including superdelegates), to Clinton’s 1,499—a difference of 132 delegates. And in the officially meaningless but symbolically important cumulative popular vote, Obama leads Clinton by just over two points—a margin that is basically cut in half when Florida is included."

It doesn't help that the count is complicated by the differences between caucuses and primaries, but that's not the point. The fact is that the process isn't set up to work on the basis of a strict popular vote count, and that seems like a good thing to me. The "superdelegate" tier invests the nomination machinery with some discretion, and that seems like a sensible system when we are talking about elections which are too close to count properly.

| Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?