by Christian Berrigan
[This article is a further detailed analysis of problems in WSRP proposed rules for the 2016 Caucus/Convention process first exposed here. ~ Ed.]
But even more paramount is that our rules are not in violation of the RNC rules.
And there is very real scenario which would put us in just such a violation, and that is another problem with our proposed WSRP Rule 37.
As currently constructed, if we do have a plurality winner in the primary, we would be in violation of RNC Rule 16(c)(3)(ii) – I’m including the (i) subsection below also because that is the direction I hope we will choose to go, but the violation would be of (ii).
From RNC Rule 16(c)(3):
(i) A state may establish by statewide vote or by congressional district a minimum threshold of the percentage of votes received by a candidate that must be reached below which a candidate may receive no delegates, provided such threshold is no higher than twenty percent (20%).
(ii) A state may establish by statewide vote or by congressional district a minimum threshold of the percentage of votes received by a candidate that must be reached above which the candidate may receive all the delegates, provided such threshold is no lower than fifty percent (50%).
So how would this be a violation? According to our rules, a plurality winner of the primary gets 100% of the first round of balloting. The RNC rules require at least 50% if trying to have a winner take all result.
We hear all the time that lawyers have reviewed all this, but this seems like a pretty obvious thing. These kinds of things are more easily caught when trying to codify fairness. When there is a strategic agenda built into rules, then we get problems.
I advocate for proportional representation for EVERYONE (primary and convention), and that the state central committee set a threshold of 20% or above as required by RNC Rule 16(c)(3)(i). If this most-fair option is denied us, heads up that we must bring the state rules into compliance with RNC Rule 16(c)(3)(ii).
NOTE: I find no provision for reducing our delegates under violations of 16(c)(3), only 16(c)(2). So while we would be in violation, it doesn’t appear it would jeopardize our delegates (if I’m reading everything correctly), but since it still would be a violation of the rules with no explicit punishment under Rule 17, there is no telling what kind of chaos could ensue.
One might make the argument that 16(c)(3) applies only to the allocation of delegates and not to the binding of delegates. If given the context someone still desires to make that tenuous argument at 2016 convention time, I assume “chaos” would be an understatement.
Codify fairness – its the true path to unity.