Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Party platforms: What did Sanders win?

Turning back to the Democratic Party, the platform committee met, and Sanders supposedly got what he wanted.  The party platform took a big turn left.  So Sanders got what he originally sought out to achieve, right?  No.

Let's talk briefly about party platforms.  In other countries, they are a big deal.  Specifically, in countries with "proportional representation," they are a big deal.  What does that mean?  It is an electoral rule in which the proportion of the seats a party gets in the legislature is the proportion of the vote it gets.  So, if the Batshit Crazy Party gets 37% of the vote, then the BsCP gets 37% of the seats in the legislature (generally, Parliament, but that's another whole, big thing).  If there are 100 seats in the Parliament, then BsCP puts together a list of 100 names.  Since BsCP wins 37% of the vote, the first 37 names on that list get into Parliament.

Here's the thing:  the specific names on that list, and the order in which they appear, are entirely up to the BsCP.  So, if you want to serve in Parliament under the BsCP label, you are entirely dependent on the good will of the leaders of the BsCP.  Follow their platform, or else.  Deviate by taking a sane position, on any issue, and you're out.

Under those electoral systems, there is a very high degree of party loyalty in legislatures.  Here, party loyalty varies a lot over time, depending on historical circumstances.  Why?  Because party platforms don't bind anyone.  Politicians here are loyal to the party when they ideologically agree with the party, and are disloyal when they don't.  Party platforms don't bind them.  The concessions that the DNC made to Sanders in the platform bind precisely nobody.

And it wouldn't matter if they did.

Right now, HRC looks like she will win.  Nothing is guaranteed, particularly this year, but her 4 to 5 point lead in the polls has been as stable as anything in the year of The Donald, where George Will endorses Hillary Clinton and Superman is dark and gritty.  She will face a Republican House.  That I can tell you, as The Donald would say.  Midterms swing against the president, which adds more opposition to HRC in 2018.  The only way Democrats pick up the House is with a strong midterm against a Republican president.  Now, four terms in a row would be really stretching it, so a Republican comeback in 2020 is highly likely, and a midterm swing against that president in 2022 is within the realm of possibility, which puts a unified Democratic government within reach in 2024.

2024.  So, do we really think that concessions to Sanders in the 2016 platform will have any effect on this extremely hypothetical scenario for 2024?  I had to dig so deep in my own rectum to pull this scenario out that I burned my fingernails off with stomach acid.

Of course, there's also the possibility that Trump wins, and what I have called the burn-it-down theory of reform.  This is really hard to evaluate, but it does depend on Trump winning, and right now, it looks like the winning-est winner who ever won at winning kind of sucks at winning general elections.  We'll see soon, though.  Did anyone notice, though, that his rallies no longer consist primarily of bragging about his poll numbers?  Gee, I wonder why...

Regardless, Sanders got the DNC to move its platform left.  In other words, he won absolutely nothing, which is what he is about to become.

C'mon.  Anyone?  No?  Really?

 

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