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  •  To me, this appears a bigger flaw (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    votermom, LABobsterofAnaheim

    than super delegates.

    I simply can't fathom why non-party people (so-called independents) are allowed to vote for party representatives.

    That simply can't happen here. If a non Labor Party person tried to get into a Labor pre-selection vote, they'd never even get through the door.

    Sometimes, a candidate tries to 'stack' their local branches here to get the votes by signing up lots of friends etc to join the party just for the vote, but even that doesn't work as allegations of 'branch-stacking' get thrown around. So a person has to have a probation record as a party member - they can't just sign up the week before.

    Only registered party members should vote in party pre-selections. If a person doesn't regard the party as worth joining, they should have absolutely no say in its running or who is chosen to represent it.

    •  VERY different systems... (0+ / 0-)

      In Parliamentary systems, parties are actually the key.  You vote for them, by voting for whoever is going to represent YOU, and then they pick the Chief Executive. In ours, political parties actually have no "official" place at all, other than their members' 1st Amendment right to create them (by assembling to petition the Government for redress).

      Here, we vote for Electors who are (in most States) pledged to cast their votes for whoever wins the popular vote in the State they represent.

      Since the Federal Constitution does not specify how candidates for the Presidency are selected, there is no Federal bar to open primaries. In fact, there's no Federal requirement that you get to vote to choose the nominees at all, and, for most of our history, nobody did. Party conventions decided who their nominees were going to be, and the rank-and-file didn't get a say. This was changed at the State, not the Federal, level. And you could even make a case, based on the quality of leadership that each method has produced, that changing was a bad idea... but that's another diary. One that I've been thinking about writing, actually.

      But the basic idea is that this is something left to State legislatures to decide, and some of them have decided that open primaries are a good idea. In a few cases, like in California, open primary systems have been struck down by State courts, but the Federal courts stay out of such things.

      This was the basic problem with Bush v Gore. As bad as the ruling was in terms of real-world results, (Bush became President, and that sucked,) the real issue is that the Constitution reserves the method of choosing Electors to the States. If California decided to award all of it's Electors to the winner of a poker game, or a drinking contest, it'd be legal.

      American Federalism is probably pretty weird to non-Americans. Hell, most Americans, even most politically-aware Americans, don't really understand it. Basically, in our system, if the Federal Constitution doesn't specifically give a power to the Federal government, it is reserved "to the States, or to the People." There are some huge loopholes in that, most specifically in the "Commerce Clause", but that's the basic idea.

      And yes, this answer does blend the choosing of nominees with the choosing of Presidents, but the basic principle is the same in both cases.

      --Shannon

      •  and there's another issue. (0+ / 0-)

        New Hampshire has same-day registration, and allows people to change their party affiliation at any time.  So if the Democrats try to close their primary, independents can still make themselves "Democrats for a day" and vote in the primary.

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