(COMMON DREAMS) Julia Conley, August 25 2018 — With protesters rallying outside the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) annual meeting in Chicago this week, carrying signs demanding that the Democratic Party “live up to its name,” progressive groups in favor of limiting the outsized power of superdelegates urged the committee to embrace a plan aimed at honoring the will of voters.
Opponents of the proposal—including 2016 superdelegates hoping to hang on to their disproportionate ability to select a presidential nominee—pledged to lobby aggressively in favor of keeping the superdelegate system as it is.
But supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) argued that doing so would not only be unjust to voters in favor of a more progressive Democratic platform, but also imperil the party.
“If the DNC rejects this,” when it votes on Saturday, Mark Longabaugh, a senior adviser to Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign, told Politico, “it basically rejects the will of the convention.”
In the 2016 election, most superdelegates threw their support behind Hillary Clinton, with many going against the majority of their constituents who had voted for Sanders in the primary.
The resulting outrage among the party’s progressive wing led to the formation of the Unity Reform Commission and its proposal to strip superdelegates of their outsize influence. Earlier this year, the plan won the support of the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee and a scheduled vote on Saturday by the entire body of party delegates will see it either adopted or defeated.