Comment: that hasn't been the case for 150 years

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that hasn't been the case for 150 years

Maybe back in the mid 1800s it was used as you describe. But in modern US history there's not an example of a candidate that had overwhelming support of the populace but party bosses who decided to ignore the will of the people and successfully put in their own guy by manipulating these meetings. In fact, recently there has been an almost universally consistent pattern of delegates chosen in these meetings voting at the national convention for the person to whom they are bound by primary voting.

I think we can all see the massive potential for corruption at these types of meetings (by people on either side). They are battles of party insiders and activists on both sides. The list of ways in which people can be disenfranchised in such events is long. They are nominally supposed to represent the will of the people, but once people realize how to use these to game the vote and overrule the will of the actual voters, the chances of that are over. I think it's wrong no matter who is doing it.

In saying this, I want to point out that I don't think there's anything wrong with Ron Paul supporters trying to get spots as delegates. They are making a contract with the state parties and as long as they are doing so in good faith and abide by that contract in full, it doesn't matter what candidate they actually support. As I've seen you post, they are allowed to vote their mind on other votes at the convention, and there's value to having your own view represented. If they are open about how they are going to vote for Romney for the Presidential nomination while bound but that they will vote for Ron Paul in later rounds, and they win the delegate spot, then great. If they get a spot as a Santorum delegate or as an unbound delegate, then great - they'll be able to vote for Ron Paul. But if the goal is to get a spot then abstain from a vote or vote for a candidate to whom they are not actually bound, then there's something very dishonest about that technique. Even if some people convince themselves that it's within the letter of the rules, it is so far outside the spirit of the rules that it naturally leads to a very negative reaction.

If the voice of the people was going massively for Ron Paul and the party leaders were taking the nomination and handing it to someone else, that would be one thing. Currently, the voice of the people is strongly in favor of Mitt Romney. If that turns in future primaries, and Ron Paul starts winning those overwhelmingly, then if people try to cheat Ron Paul out of the nomination that would be wrong and wrath by his supporters would be justified. But if it does not turn, and Romney continues to win and gets far more bound delegates than he actually needs, then there's not a plausible claim that this election has been stolen from Ron Paul. If Romney has such a massive lead and then Ron Paul, who in that scenario has lost the remaining primaries, shows up with 600 bound Romney delegates that vote for Ron Paul instead, I hope it's obvious why the party would be ticked. Paul needs to start winning primaries, and everything changes (in his favor). Next up: West Virginia, Indiana, and North Carolina.