In a telling - but not all that unexpected - letter to his fellow national committee members, North Dakota GOP Committeeman and Rules Committee Chair, "Curly" Haugland spells out his belief that every delegate to the GOP national convention has the flexibility to vote their "personal choice" when it comes time to nominate their presidential nominee at the GOP convention in Cleveland this summer.
Essentially, what Curly is saying is that all those silly primaries and caucuses and all of the millions of voters that waited in line to exercise their right to vote have absolutely no influence at all in selecting their nominee. Curly wants to make sure everyone is very clear on this issue: the party belongs to its elite members -- and the hoi polloi (voters) need to get over any notion that their vote matters.
(A personal aside: I was really, really disappointed that "Curly" isn't as bald as cue ball.)
Curly correctly points out in his letter that his opinion is not all that radical. In fact, it's really only been since 2008 that GOP delegates were "bound" (by official party convention rules) to vote for the candidates that won votes in their states on the first ballot. He's merely arguing that the party return to the good 'ole days when delegates could vote any way they like and determine for themselves whether they want to listen to guidance from voters in the party's primaries/caucuses.
Of course, Curly is not alone. And the Democrats are far from being any better at letting voters choose their nominee. Ever heard of "Super delegates" -- yep, these are the folks the Democratic Party created by its nominating rules to control who gets the Democratic nomination. All of those millions of Bernie fans? Irrelevant. The party wants Hillary to win so Hillary will pick up all the "super delegates" and get the nomination. All those primaries. All those voters. A complete waste of time.
Should there be any wonder why voters are abandoning the traditional parties in droves? They see through the b.s. and implicitly understand that the political parties fundamentally believe that elections are held for the private benefit of the political parties and their insiders -- not the individual voters.
So what to do? As more and more states' voter registration become majority independent (here in Colorado, for example, 37% of all voters are unaffiliated/independent -- and growing rapidly), there are building waves of protest and reform demanding fundamental change to how we think about elections and the role of voters in the political process. Join us here at Colorado Independent to demand equal access to primary election ballots in Colorado.
And sign up for updates at IndependentVoterProject.org for news on what's happening nationally to assure that representative democracy and its elections are for the benefit of voters... not for the benefit of the private political parties.