Third Party & Independents Archives

Putting the Nomination Rules Into a Woodchipper in Fargo

Oh to be wined and dined and squeezed in Fargo with nary a wood-chipper in sight. Candidates were in Fargo for the actual process of selecting delegates for North Dakota. That is, candidates for delegates. With a real candidate or two like Ted Cruz showing up. While an ex-candidate like Ben Carson held one-on-one’s to try and convince them to stand with Trump.

It seems that the Fargo weekend meeting is being viewed as a microcosm of the entire delegate selection process. And it matters a whole bunch who ends up being selected as delegate for their respective states. Once the increasingly likely open convention gets underway in Cleveland.

It seems Cruz crushed it in North Dakota, all of whose delegates are unbound. They can vote as they see fit from the first round on. No primaries here. This is the land of Curly Haugland after all - who disdains such unruly events as primaries. And Cruz is still ahead of Trump in the delegate selection game.

So the fact that Trump is threatening lawsuits in places like Louisiana means he gets it. He realizes he will likely not quite make it to 1,237 and the convention will indeed be open.

And if, someone like Paul Ryan is brought off the bench out of the House, in from the comfort of his speaker's office and thrust pleading ignorance onto the convention stage, there are two possibilities ahead. Not in terms of who finally gets nominated in Cleveland. But rather in terms of how the nomination process will look next time around.

The second possibility is a step back in time. No more primaries. Straight to delegate selection and a brokered convention. Like the good old old old days. Buy stock in cigar makers and distributers, now! A possibility which would cause both anger (and possibly real violence) and a withdrawal of voters over the short term and maybe over the longer term as well.

The first possibility, on the other hand, is an opening up of the nomination process that takes power from delegates and gives it to voters. In other words, a partial dismantling of the traditional party structure. In other words, no more conventions. Just some primaries and an announced winner/nominee.

Neither possibility will become a complete reality. But both or either will influence the reality of the next electoral cycle. Will angry voters be willing to dig in and get involved in the local and state party process to open the game up and take away power from the delegates and the brokers? Including the media? And in doing so, do they become sucked into the cyborg so to speak, and end up supporting the delegates's traditional role?

Perhaps the deciding factor will be if a Fresh Face - like Paul Ryan - is thrust onto the stage and both Cruz and Trump delegates and supporters say they've had enough, we're burning down the GOP house (not literally please), and starting over. And we'll make the rules now.

Posted by AllardK at April 4, 2016 7:35 PM
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