Opinion: Super-delegates should not exist in election system

Angelo Lynn’s trenchant editorial of March 28 made clear how daunting Bernie Sanders’ chances are to win the nomination. He not only has to continue to ride the crest of the wave in the remaining primaries. But even if he can manage that, he must then confront and sharply whittle down Mrs. Clinton’s massive advantage among the party’s so-called “super-delegates” — the party insiders who, by virtue only of their status, assert the prerogative to support whoever they want, regardless of the wishes of their constituents.
Vermont voters have made their wishes utterly clear. Eighty-six-point-one percent voted for Bernie Sanders and a pathetic 13.6 percent for Clinton in the recent democratic primaries. And yet our lame-duck governor, Peter Shumlin, no doubt angling for a new career in Washington, and our prestigious Sen. Patrick Leahy, up for reelection, as well as a couple of other party pooh-bas, like Howard Dean and Billy Gosh, have from the outset committed themselves to Mrs. Clinton and insist that it is their prerogative to vote against the clear will of their party’s constituents. Rep. Peter Welch and several others have to their credit committed to Bernie Sanders. 
This is deplorable. Bernie should at least have the full and wholehearted support of his own home state at the convention, whether he makes it in the end or not. The only way to help him will be to put the public spotlight on our superdelegates, who may have the rule book on their side but are defying Vermont voters’ will by writing, blogging, twittering and protesting. For, who knows, a few votes in the end may still make all the difference. 
Why we put up with the whole undemocratic notion of superdelegates in the first place is of course still another question.
George Jaeger
New Haven

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