Waking up to an article in Civil Beat about Shan Tsutsui becoming the tenth superdelegate from Hawaii gave me pause.

Before the announcement regarding, Lt. Gov. Tsutsui, I had already been considering the inequities in the election process, especially the way both parties “elect” their presidential candidates. For me, “to elect” is best defined by the phrase “one man one vote,” and that simple idea seems to have nothing to do with the way we go about picking our presidential candidates.

Using the numbers after Tsutsui has been added to the mix, to say that Hawaii has 35 delegates and that 10 of them are super means that out of the greater than 36,000 voters who participated in the Democratic caucus, Tsutsui’s vote is worth 1,348 times more than mine is ludicrous. Is he really that much more important than me?

Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui after his speech at the Democratic Party of Hawaii State Convention. 5.24.14©PF Bentley/Civil Beat
Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui after his speech at the Democratic Party of Hawaii State Convention in 2014. PF Bentley/Civil Beat

With no offense intended to Lt. Gov. Tsutsui or the other superdelegates, I submit that we should do away with a system that gives one individual greater say than another, especially when it concerns matters that are at the very foundation of our supposed equal and free society.

At this point in history the idea that 10 individuals out of the entire Hawaii Democratic Party have so much power, especially when it is possible as it is now that they represent values that are different from the majority, is a matter that is long overdue for review.

The entire system of caucusing should be abandoned and replaced with a state-run primary that would afford all citizens an equal opportunity to cast their votes. The caucus system, both in the fact that there are different tiered values in votes and that there is limited access to the voting booth, is in essence designed to limit the general population’s involvement in the democratic process. As such, the current system gives a select few too much power over the destiny of our country.

In this day and age everyone who wishes to be included in the process should be included. Included, and respected, with an equal share in its outcome through a simple one man one vote system. It is my opinion that no other method could in anyway be called democratic.

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