John Oliver Takes on Broken US Election Systems: ‘Complex, Opaque Rules No One Understands’
Despite the loud cries from the scores of Bernie Sanders faithful, it seems likely that now the stage is set for the final two contenders for the White House to go head-to-head. The developments that have propelled Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to the forefront of their parties have been steeped, often, in deep controversy. The primary and caucus systems are virtually different state-to-state, and a game that has been widely labeled as “rigged” by both sides was at the heart of John Oliver‘s deep dive on Sunday night’s Last Week Tonight.
The complications of the election processes to determine a party nominee are, “…complex, opaque rules that no one understands,” says the comedian, who highlighted the confusing layers behind the voting. Oliver even found himself in agreement with Donald
Drumpf Trump regarding the corrupt election systems. “The thing is, I get why he’s annoyed and theres 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,” he joked.
Oliver highlighted just how deep the levels of confusion at the state and local levels are for the primary and caucus systems, specifically in a state like Washington: “The Democratic Presidential process in Washington doesn’t count. They have one, and it’s this Tuesday, but all the super delegates were decided at the caucus months ago.”
“And then there’s the problem of how the delegates get divided up,” Oliver continued, “which is key, because remember: you’re not directly voting for a candidate, you’re voting to help determine the delegates who will attend the national party convention and vote for a candidate on your behalf.” Some states even have further complicated systems, lending credence to the grievances of candidates like Trump and Sanders who have long argued that the democratic will of the people can be dangerously subverted under the current laws.
But the fact remains that in the 2016 cycle, it just so happens that the recipients of the lion’s share of the raw/popular vote also happened to have earned (likely) the party nominations. And this is a reality that may not sit well with the passionate Sanders voters who have charged the DNC and party bigwigs of angling the underdog Democratic-Socialist off to the margins, despite the Vermont Senator taking in about 10 million total votes compared to 13 million for Clinton.
“Bernie supporters, I can hear you typing right now that I look like an angry Toucan funded by Shrillary,” Oliver said.
Watch the above segment from HBO’s Last Week Tonight.
J.D. Durkin (@jiveDurkey) is an editorial producer and columnist at Mediaite.
[image via screengrab]
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