Towards a Fairer Primary

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In "Not So Super Tuesday" [February 18], Mortimer Zuckerman asks, "Is it not worth giving more superdelegates, who possess a closer view of and insights into the leadership skills of the candidates, a larger role in both parties' selection process?"

No, it isn't. The notions that voters are just a nuisance, that primary elections should be rendered meaningless by bought-off insiders, and that citizens are silly sheep needing the "guidance" of career politicians are not only wrong, but deeply offensive to every individual.

Daniel D. Davis


Los Lunas , N .M.  

I tend to agree with "Not So Super Tuesday" in that there ought to be a better way to elect a president. The best qualified persons just can't seem to be chosen, often for lack of enough money. These days too many voters can be swayed by emotional appeals or by the use of scare tactics. Except for leaving out independents and minor party candidates, I think we could perhaps get better choices if we gave more power to superdelegates. While we're at it, let's shorten the campaign period.

Donald W. Kangas


Tucson , A riz.  

I wonder why Zuckerman and so many other commentators on the political scene want a quick resolution to the political campaign. He seems concerned that a long Democratic campaign will divide "... the party along thin lines of gender, education, income, age, and race." My experience in democracy has been that consensus is difficult, and is only achieved after we go through this messy process. While the Republicans seem to have a winner, I am not convinced the party is less divided, or that the country is better served by their quicker process.

Richard D. Brownlee


Toledo , Ohio  

Zuckerman closes "Not So Super Tuesday" with the suggestion that we have more superdelegates in the future. I suggest just the opposite. No superdelegates and no electoral college. There should be no mechanism between the electorate and the candidates in our political system. The voters have made mistakes in the past, but a poor choice has always returned the government to the center. Anything that interferes with the majority vote should be rejected as flawed.

Via e-mail

Zuckerman starts his commentary with "America faces a leadership crisis" and disparages governmental paralysis and yet concludes that these same failed governors and members of congress with "that rare combination of competence and vision" are better qualified than the rest of the electorate to be superdelegates and pick the future leaders. As if only the electorate "lent itself to the distortions of money." This is why we need fresh leadership and a new vision.

Via e-mail

The closing paragraph in "Not So Super Tuesday," suggesting more superdelegates may be a better way of deciding who runs for President, really hit a sore spot. I don't think it's a good idea to have other politicians and party leaders (with their own agendas and quid pro quo expectations) decide who the nominee should be. The voting citizens of the nation should make that decision, and the voters of all 50 states should have their voices heard. We're down to only two candidates on the Democratic side, and one Republican candidate. Who's to say what the outcome would have been if the crop of candidates had not been so severely winnowed by the voters of Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida, and a few other states? In today's "instant communication" world, any candidate can reach a national electorate by TV, Internet, radio, and print media. They don't have to "stump" for votes. Most voters who go to the polls never went to a rally for any of the candidates. They either made their decision based on party loyalty or what they learned through the media.

John R. Higdon


Boston , Ky .  

"Not So Super Tuesday" diplomatically refers to our primary election system as "eccentric." A more accurate depiction would classify it as grossly inequitable and loony. Small, unrepresentative states are given undue influence and the winners in those states have the ability to rally support based upon these skewed tallies; voters in caucus states are widely disenfranchised; and delegate counts vary by state and by party, and the means to calculate where each candidate stands in delegate count is so complex and convoluted as to cause even major media outlets to be unable to readily determine candidate totals. Why in heaven's name do we not have one solitary primary day, in which the residents in all fifty states and territories vote, placing candidates and voters on a level playing field? Given the current nightmarish hodgepodge, it is no wonder that increasing numbers of Americans are apathetic, if not hostile to their government.

Oren M. Spiegler


Upper Saint Clair , P a.