John Oliver believes the US presiential primary and causcus process needs reform, as he said on Sunday’s episode of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight.”
At the root of the problem of the 50-year-old system for choosing delegates is the confusion it creates, the host said.
For example, when a candidate wins the popular vote yet doesn’t earn the highest number of delegates in a state, such as when Bernie Sanders won in Wyoming and Donald Trump triumphed in Louisiana.
Trump called the results “a fix.”
“The thing is I get why he’s annoyed,” Oliver said. “And there is no clearer piece of evidence that our system is broken, no more thoroughly dead canary in the coal mine, than when Donald Trump is actually making sense. Because when you see results like that, the system feels counterintuitive.”
The delegate system, as the host explained, was created in order to make sure that the party could balance out the popular vote in the case that leaders don’t agree with its result. But each state is basically in charge of the way it handles its primaries or caucuses, which leads to a lot of differences in the system and more confusion around the choosing of delegates.
“That in itself is a huge problem,” Oliver said of the inconsistency and confusion baked into the system. “Any competition should have clear rules. You don’t get to the end of a football game and say, ‘OK, who found the most eggs?’ Wait, what? That’s what we were supposed to be doing? Why didn’t anyone tell us that at the start? I only have five eggs.”
The problem is, as Oliver pointed out, candidates and the voters can complain about the system during an election, but when the candidates are chosen, the conversation trails off. So Oliver suggested we all set a date to write the party leaders about reforming the system.
“I propose February 2,” Oliver said. “Now that will be easy to remember, because it’s Groundhog Day, which does seem appropriate. Because unless this process is fixed, we are all destined to live through the same nightmare scenario over and over again until the end of f—ing time.”
Watch the segment below:
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