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Posted by on Mar 13, 2016 in Blogs |

Unconventional Conventions?

ap480623010At the end of each of my posts I include a countdown until the general election. It’s easy to write off this number as it is still in the hundreds. However, much sooner dates are those of the 2016 Republican & Democratic National Conventions. The RNC is in 167 days, taking place in Cleveland, Ohio from 18-21 July. The DNC is in 174 days, taking place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 25-28 July. With talk of delegate counts and questions about whether or not the Republican Party would support Donald Trump as a candidate, it is time to start looking to these national conventions and thinking about possible outcomes.

As I’ve mentioned several times in recent weeks, we must recall that there is a difference between delegate votes and the popular vote. Shockingly, the USA is the only country in the world that utilizes indirect election of the executive president. When an American goes to the ballot box, they are not voting for their choice for president – they are voting for a delegate who then votes for a candidate. It’s a strange, roundabout way that has resulted in upsets like the 2000 Bush v. Gore election in which Al Gore won the popular vote for Florida while George W. Bush won the majority of votes in the Florida Electoral College and consequently the entire election. Quite a predicament.

We are beginning to wonder if this year’s Republican National Convention will DNC_RNCbe one for the history books. While Trump is certainly leading the delegate count, Cruz is trailing behind just closely enough that it is possible no candidate will gain the required 1,237 delegates to clench the nomination. In this case, a contested convention would occur. As to explaining what this is, I cannot do better than this Slate article. Were this to occur, it would go down in history as one of the messiest presidential nominating conventions in the history of the United States. You can assure that I will be touching on this topic much more in the coming weeks, but for now I simply wanted to give this introduction so we can all understand the pandemonium emerging in front of our eyes.

Despite all of this, I am not one to just sit and complain about situations occurring in my home country – I have volunteered to work at the Democratic National Convention. With the very real possibility that we could have Trump as POTUS, I want to be able to look back in 20, 30, 40 years and know that I did not sit complicity on the sidelines – I want to be in the midst of this mess. I’ll keep you updated on the blog on whether or not I am accepted to work at the convention or not. I certainly hope I will be, as I see this as the most important event in progressive politics since the Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination. If you would like to volunteer for either of the conventions (and I encourage you to do so!), click here for the DNC and click here for the RNC.

With 239 days until the election,

Phoebe Warren

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