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What is the reasoning behind a delegate system?

sookster

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I'm literally kind of lost why we do this. What's the purpose of this, and reason for the delegate system? In your opinion, is it a good system? Why don't we just have the people vote for who they want, and nothing else?

Thanks.
 

Gaius46

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I suppose part of the reason is to allow for situations where no one gets a majority of delegates on the first ballot. When that happens the states have various rules freeing delegates to vote for whomever they like so it gives minority candidates some leverage.

As well it gives the party powers-that-be a mechanism to retain some control over the nominating process.
 

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Not every voter has the time or resources to attend national elections.
 

Captain Adverse

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I suppose part of the reason is to allow for situations where no one gets a majority of delegates on the first ballot. When that happens the states have various rules freeing delegates to vote for whomever they like so it gives minority candidates some leverage.

As well it gives the party powers-that-be a mechanism to retain some control over the nominating process.

I think he was asking why not simply get the votes, tally them, and move on without need for delegates. So, if candidate A got 300 votes in Ohio, Candidate B got 150, and candidate C got 90....that's it. You go on to the next state primary/caucus and just add the votes to each candidate. Then when there is a convention you have A with X, B with X-minus or plus, etc., and the one with the most votes becomes the candidate.

I think your second response bolded above is the answer he seeks.
 

upsideguy

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I'm literally kind of lost why we do this. What's the purpose of this, and reason for the delegate system? In your opinion, is it a good system? Why don't we just have the people vote for who they want, and nothing else?

Thanks.

Welcome to representative governance. I think we use it in other aspects of our government as well.

It does help you deal with situations such as a candidate that can't win even a majority of his own party, which can be a sign of a weak candidate.
 

mac

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I'm literally kind of lost why we do this. What's the purpose of this, and reason for the delegate system? In your opinion, is it a good system? Why don't we just have the people vote for who they want, and nothing else?

Thanks.

Because based simply on votes a candidate could get the nomination with 25% of the vote with the remaining candidates splitting the 75% (if no single candidate had more than 24.9%). That's bad, because....well, Trump.
 

Rokkitsci

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I'm literally kind of lost why we do this. What's the purpose of this, and reason for the delegate system? In your opinion, is it a good system? Why don't we just have the people vote for who they want, and nothing else?

Thanks.

I cannot fathom the mind that is confused by the delegate system. You need some way of finding out who the best representative of your party is to present the goals and principles of the party. A political party cannot afford - either in time or money - a series of runoff elections to determine who that person is by popular/majority. If you want a party that will award the 'winner' in the manner you described as the "why don't we just ----" scenario, then go find people of similar mindset and form one.

And for some of the people who are worshippers of the 'plurality rules' (nobody but Trump supporters actually believe this - and they wouldn't either if he were not ahead) you need to consider why it is a stupid argument and why when you put it forward, you are advertising either complete ignorance or blatant bias. Let me present a mind experiment like I did when I was teaching high school math and needed to demonstrate why some hard-to-grasp probability truism works (case in mind is the "Price is Right" dilemma of whether to change choices when the host eliminates one of the remaining two doors = you always change)

Consider that there is an election for 'most popular' in some high school with 1000 students. Now consider that half of them are (nominated = decide to run) for the honor. Now suppose that when the vote takes place, everyone votes for themselves, and 499 of them vote for their BFF (all different) - with one person left over who arrived at school the previous day, had no friends, and knew nobody. The status would be that 499 candidates would all have 2 votes each and one candidate would have 1 vote.

Would you be satisfied that the one guy who knew none of the candidates and had no friends at all would be the one to decide who the 'most popular' in the high school was by giving his tie-breaking vote to one of the 499? All because he had a plurality of 3-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2................2-2-2-1???

This is merely an exaggeration of the situation where Trump won ALL the votes in "winner take all" states where the percentages were something like 25-23-20-15-13-5-2-1-1.....

And it is especially a farce when 80% of the 75% who did not vote for Trump swear that they would vote for anyone BUT Trump. In other words, the MAJORITY of the vote absolutely did not want Trump - yet he got ALL the delegates. It means he would have lost to ANY one of the candidates in a head-to-head election. Yet he goes around screaming that he was "WINNNNIINNNNNNG" and his followers want him to represent a party that overwhelmingly DO NOT WANT HIM!

Or would you want some other system that avoided such a stupid situation. It can be done by limiting the number of original candidates and having a series of runoffs to determine an eventual majority selection - OR you could elect a slate of "delegates" to go off and decide who gets the honor. In a national election where you cannot have but one election - a series of runoffs is completely impractical, (unlike high school where everyone is in one room and you just keep trimming down the field until you arrive at a majority) - you are almost forced into having a slate of delegates.
 

sookster

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I cannot fathom the mind that is confused by the delegate system. You need some way of finding out who the best representative of your party is to present the goals and principles of the party. A political party cannot afford - either in time or money - a series of runoff elections to determine who that person is by popular/majority. If you want a party that will award the 'winner' in the manner you described as the "why don't we just ----" scenario, then go find people of similar mindset and form one.

And for some of the people who are worshippers of the 'plurality rules' (nobody but Trump supporters actually believe this - and they wouldn't either if he were not ahead) you need to consider why it is a stupid argument and why when you put it forward, you are advertising either complete ignorance or blatant bias. Let me present a mind experiment like I did when I was teaching high school math and needed to demonstrate why some hard-to-grasp probability truism works (case in mind is the "Price is Right" dilemma of whether to change choices when the host eliminates one of the remaining two doors = you always change)

Consider that there is an election for 'most popular' in some high school with 1000 students. Now consider that half of them are (nominated = decide to run) for the honor. Now suppose that when the vote takes place, everyone votes for themselves, and 499 of them vote for their BFF (all different) - with one person left over who arrived at school the previous day, had no friends, and knew nobody. The status would be that 499 candidates would all have 2 votes each and one candidate would have 1 vote.

Would you be satisfied that the one guy who knew none of the candidates and had no friends at all would be the one to decide who the 'most popular' in the high school was by giving his tie-breaking vote to one of the 499? All because he had a plurality of 3-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2................2-2-2-1???

This is merely an exaggeration of the situation where Trump won ALL the votes in "winner take all" states where the percentages were something like 25-23-20-15-13-5-2-1-1.....

And it is especially a farce when 80% of the 75% who did not vote for Trump swear that they would vote for anyone BUT Trump. In other words, the MAJORITY of the vote absolutely did not want Trump - yet he got ALL the delegates. It means he would have lost to ANY one of the candidates in a head-to-head election. Yet he goes around screaming that he was "WINNNNIINNNNNNG" and his followers want him to represent a party that overwhelmingly DO NOT WANT HIM!

Or would you want some other system that avoided such a stupid situation. It can be done by limiting the number of original candidates and having a series of runoffs to determine an eventual majority selection - OR you could elect a slate of "delegates" to go off and decide who gets the honor. In a national election where you cannot have but one election - a series of runoffs is completely impractical, (unlike high school where everyone is in one room and you just keep trimming down the field until you arrive at a majority) - you are almost forced into having a slate of delegates.

How are "The Party" and the people of the party, different?
 

sookster

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Could you better explain your confusion??

Well it seems this delegate system is in favor for the DNC, or the RNC, or whatever you want to call the two delegate and super delegate systems. What gives them the right to have a more powerful vote over the people who voted for the candidate that they want to be president? Isn't it just a tactic to bring the perception that votes really count, when in reality it is up to the delegates to choose what is in their best interest for "their" party.
 

Captain Adverse

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Well it seems this delegate system is in favor for the DNC, or the RNC, or whatever you want to call the two delegate and super delegate systems. What gives them the right to have a more powerful vote over the people who voted for the candidate that they want to be president? Isn't it just a tactic to bring the perception that votes really count, when in reality it is up to the delegates to choose what is in their best interest for "their" party.

They are a Political Party. That's a non-government organization of like-minded people who want to select and then elect candidates for public office who will represent their interests and social goals.

They can make up any rules they wish concerning how this selection process will work. If members don't like the way things are run, then they can organize to change it or split off and do their own thing.

That's what gives them the right.
 

Rokkitsci

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Well it seems this delegate system is in favor for the DNC, or the RNC, or whatever you want to call the two delegate and super delegate systems. What gives them the right to have a more powerful vote over the people who voted for the candidate that they want to be president? Isn't it just a tactic to bring the perception that votes really count, when in reality it is up to the delegates to choose what is in their best interest for "their" party.
Sorry - I don't know how to communicate with this level of understanding.

Why don't you outline what you think a 'fair' system would be. then we may have a better insight into your thought process??
 

sookster

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Sorry - I don't know how to communicate with this level of understanding.

Why don't you outline what you think a 'fair' system would be. then we may have a better insight into your thought process??

Why do you have to constantly disrespect me? I opened saying I am ignorant of the whole process and reasoning behind a delegate system. I, by all means, do not understand the delegate system. Does that justify demeaning me as a complete person? No. As I am sure there are things that I understand more than you, as you understand some things more than me.
 

Rokkitsci

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Why do you have to constantly disrespect me? I opened saying I am ignorant of the whole process and reasoning behind a delegate system. I, by all means, do not understand the delegate system. Does that justify demeaning me as a complete person? No. As I am sure there are things that I understand more than you, as you understand some things more than me.
Sorry about the disrespect - thought you were trolling the board.

It's just that everything in American government essentially runs with a "delegate system." We elect Representatives and Senators at the state and national levels, Councilmen at the city level. In November we will be electing delegates (Electors) to go select a President of the United States. This country has been electing "delegates" for over 200 years. This is the way Republics have worked for 2500 years.

Which is why I asked what kind of "system" do you imagine that could possibly replace a 'delegate system' for nominating candidates for one party to run against candidates from other parties.

If you truly have no concept of the historical and rational reasons for 'delegate systems' in the electoral process, it may be hard to communicate with you without knowing your mindset of how an election ought to be accomplished. The fundamentals of all 'delegate system' elections have been presented several times in this thread already.
 

mac

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How are "The Party" and the people of the party, different?

The Party is actually active participants in the running of the party. The people in an area that fundraise and hold meetings. The "people" of the party are really nothing more than people that have demonstrated an inclination to support that party.

The only real purpose of the primaries is to determine which candidate may garner enough support to get enough of a turnout to beat the other participant in the general election.
 

Sherman123

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I'm literally kind of lost why we do this. What's the purpose of this, and reason for the delegate system? In your opinion, is it a good system? Why don't we just have the people vote for who they want, and nothing else?

Thanks.

It's a mechanism for giving party leadership at the national and state level more control over the nomination process. It gives them latitude to try and blunt 'bad' candidates like we're seeing with these delegate maneuverings with Trump. I'm conflicted as to whether or not I think this is a bad thing.
 
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