Sweeping change has come to the political process at a time when many were least expecting to meet it. A new, unexpected, and frankly unprecedented amendment that was specially designed to neutralize the influence of superdelegates on the nomination process just passed by an overwhelming margin at the Democratic Party convention in the state of Maine.
For the majority of Democratic Party members, a major change is coming soon. And it’s one to embrace or deplore, depending on which side of the ideological divide you may find yourself standing on. This rejection of the superdelegate voting process is fraught with serious implications for the manner in which the Democratic Party will soon nominate its Presidential candidate.
For Clinton supporters, the dismay is already evident, as the lack of superdelegates at the Maine convention removes a major pillar of establishment support. Clinton has been counting on the presence of her three declared superdelegates to back her, while another remains committed to Bernie Sanders and yet another one remains “officially uncommitted.” This means that the process of democratizing the delegates affects the cause of Clinton in a far more adverse manner than it will that of Sanders.
The change came quickly and unexpectedly when Rep. Diane Russell of the Democratic Party introduced the measure. As even Russell stared in astonishment, the amendment passed by a voice vote in a rapid and efficient manner. At the end of the vote, a crowd of supporters began to shout, “Bernie! Bernie!” And, as it turns out, there is a reason why the name of present Democratic Party Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was invoked at the end of the vote.
The new measures against superdelegates that were adopted at the Maine convention are sure to have supporters of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton up in arms. It isn’t hard to see why this should be the case. Superdelegates are one of the main pillars of support that the Clinton organization is relying upon to sew up vital support and clinch the nomination.
The ultimate result of the decision in Maine will not only limit the possibility of undue influence on the part of superdelegates, but will also bring sweeping change – some would say equalization – to the political process in the state. Perhaps the immediate takeaway from the adoption of this new amendment is that the strength and influence of superdelegates in the state of Maine will, from now on, be allocated in a strictly proportional manner that follows the overall popular vote.
In other words – and this is the result that may have Clinton supporters throwing tantrums of frustration in back rooms- rather than each superdelegate having complete autonomy, they will now have to vote along strictly democratic lines, following the popular vote. This means that they will no longer be able to be influenced in an undue manner as the result of a sudden “change of mind”, “vote of conscience”, etc.
It should be remembered that the clampdown on superdelegates that occurred in the state of Maine holds good only within the borders of that particular state. There has yet to be any similar initiative in any other state in the Union, although many people do believe that the time to limit the power of superdelegates is at hand. Whether any future measures are taken remains to be seen.