Why a coin flip is the right way to resolve Clinton/Obama race

This post was written by marc on March 7, 2008
Posted Under: Politics

The Democrats have painted themselves into a corner again and the only way to really resolve the Clinton/Obama race is to flip a coin. The race is a tie. The voters want both of them. The solution, flip a coin. Winner gets to run for president. Loser is VP.

Why the race is tied

A tie doesn’t have to mean an exact tie. If there is no questions about the process then it means an exact tie. But when there’s a serious question about the process and the difference between the candidates is within the margin of dispute, then that’s a tie.

For example. 100 votes are cast and candidate A has 47 votes, candidate B has 48 votes, and 5 votes we unreadable. This is a tie because without those 5 votes we don’t know who really won. Especially if those 5 votes was from candidate A’s district. So even though B has one more vote, the election is a tie. The fuzzy line is 5 votes wide. If the election is within the fuzzy line the election is tied.

Uncommitted Delegates

In the case of the Democratic party primary the fuzzy line is very wide. First is the super delegates which are uncommitted candidates who can vote for whoever they want. They represent 20% of the delegate votes. Add on to that the caucus votes where people were elected as uncommitted and add in the delegates of candidates who are out of the race. There’s a lot of people, who don’t want to be the ones to decide the election, who are going to have to decide the election.

Florida and Michigan

Florida and Michigan is a real mess. They moved up their primaries in spite of “party rules”. The Democratic party in their infinite wisdom decided to punish these states by denying the voters their right to vote. Additionally Obam, on his own initiative, decided to remove himself from the Michigan ballot the last day he was allowed to. Clinton declined to do that stating that she wasn’t going to disrespect the voters of Michigan.

The party rules were that candidates could not campaign in those states. However Obama spent 1.3 million advertising in Florida which was more money that all the Republicans put together. Clinton followed party rules and didn’t spend there.

If the votes in Michigan and Florida are counted then Clinton has a serious lead over Obama and the Democratic leaders, who feel that they have the power to declare that two states don’t get to vote, lose face. And Obama can claim it’s not fair because he wasn’t on the ballot in Michigan even though that was by his own poor judgment.

But if the votes in Florida and Michigan are not counted the Clinton cries foul. You can’t just take away the voting rights of millions of voters and expect them to vote for you in the general election. If Obama wins because Florida and Michigan weren’t counted, those states are going Republican in November and McCain wins. Clinton can also claim that because Obama spent money in Florida, in violation of party rules, that means that he can not now claim Florida doesn’t count.

Which argument is right? They both are. And there in lies the problem. No matter how they decide half of the voters are going to feel cheated. Especially if FL and MI are pivotal to the outcome.

You would think that after the 2000 election where Democrats were screaming that every vote should count that now they want no votes to count. Bush has to be laughing over this.

It’s not just about who wins – it’s uniting the party

It doesn’t matter who wins if half of the part feel cheated. The winner has to win cleanly and in a way that the loser’s supporters will feel good about the nominee. if voters feel cheated then they aren’t going to vote for the person who cheated them. So if either Obama or Hillary is the candidat, McCain wins the election. Then the Democrats can fight over who’s fault it was that they screwed up the election.

The Magic of the Coin Flip

It is not uncommon for tied elections to be resolved by the flip of a coin. Sometimes the candidates just agree to do it. In some cases courts have ordered a coin flip to resolve a tied election. A coin flip is magic because people respect it.

In this election there is little doubt that neither Obama or Clinton are going to be outside the fuzzy line. Who wins depends on what side you are on. But if you flip a coin, all that goes away. It no longer matters if you count Florida and Michigan. The super delegates don’t have to choose which half of the Democrats are going to hate them.

If the candidates flipped for it then that would be considered fair and the losing party would accept defeat and get behind the winner because they won “fair and square”. There would be no anger and the super delegates wouldn’t have to be the ones making the decision

The flip could be televised on lie TV and would be the most important coin flip in the history of the world. The Democrats could turn it into a serious promotional tool to the point where no one would remember who the Republicans are. They could take a catastraphy and turn it into an asset. They can turn it around from a disadvantage to and advantage. They could go from the party of stupid to the party of smart.

Democrats want both Clinton and Obama

This isn’t a race for the lesser of to evils or competing ideologies. Obama and Clinton agree on most everything. Clinton claims more experience, Obama better judgment. Clinton has better plans, Obama is more inspiring. Are the voters more racist or more sexist? Voters in both camps really likes their candidate wants their candidate to win. So let them BOTH win!

The idea is that if you flip a coin the loser gets to be VP. In my mind that should be part of the deal so that the loser isn’t really losing, they are winning second place. It will either be Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton. And a random act with determine the order.

Rules for the flip

If I were in charge here’s what I would do. There would be 2 flips. The first to determine who calls it in the air. I would say Heads/Obama, Tails/Clinton. Then the second flip counts. I flip the coin. The winner of the first flip calls it in the air. It has to land on a carpeted floor so it doesn’t roll or land on the edge. No catching the coin. If the person who calls it is correct then they are the winner and they get to choose if they want to be on the top of the ticket. They could also bring in lottery/casino experts to ensure the randomness of the event.

A coin flip is the easy way out

As you can see the coin flip is the easy way out and politicians always go for the easy way out. It makes all the problems and complications go away. This race really is tied. The votes are not going to determine who the winner is. So let’s just flip a coin and get it over with.

Reader Comments

A coin flip is probably the right way to resolve all elections. The results would be approximately the same as the current system and would cost a whole lot less.

Written By bthomson on March 15th, 2008 @ 6:57 pm

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