Democrats Should Keep Superdelegates, Salvini Calls for Anti-EU Budget

Superdelegates are a failsafe. Italy’s right-wing leader has no need for EU budget rules.

Delegates listen to a speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania, July 25, 2016
Delegates listen to a speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania, July 25, 2016 (DNCC/Chris Frommann)

BuzzFeed reports that Democrats in the United States are considering eliminating superdelegates from their presidential nominating contest.

That would be a mistake.

Superdelegates — governors, members of Congress and party officials — are a failsafe, to prevent a Democratic Donald Trump.

Opponents consider them undemocratic, but this fetishizes democracy. The point of the primary process is — or should be — to find the best candidate possible who can then go on to win in a democratic contest.

Salvini calls for anti-EU budget

Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy’s largest right-wing party, the (Northern) League, has told lawmakers the country needs a budget that is “exactly the opposite of those demanded by Brussels and supinely approved by the left in recent years.”

We will reduce taxes, cut bureaucracy and respect EU rules as long as they allow Italy to grow. Otherwise we will do what we need for Italians, not a couple of bureaucrats.

No matter that Italy helped write the bloc’s debt and deficit rules and has been violating them for years; it’s not tax or public-sector cuts the European Commission objects to, it’s Italy’s high deficit spending and inability to reduce its debt.

Salvini wants lower taxes and more generous pensions? Europe wouldn’t mind — if his party had a plan to pay for it.

Catalan separatists running out of options

A Spanish judge has refused to let Jordi Sànchez out of jail to be sworn in as president of Catalonia, forcing the region’s independence parties to look for a third option.

The first was to reinstate Carles Puigdemont, who lost power in October when Spain suspended Catalan home rule. Puigdemont would be arrested the moment he set foot on Spanish soil for organizing an independence referendum last year that had been ruled illegal by the Constitutional Court.

Sànchez, the number two on Puigdemont’s party list, is awaiting a trial for his own role in the independence process.

It was unclear if the smallest of the three independence parties, the Popular Unity Candidacy, would have voted for Sànchez anyway. They consider Puigdemont the only legitimate candidate.

Meanwhile, the former Catalan education minister, Clara Ponsatí, has relocated to Scotland, where she previously taught economics at the University of St Andrews. Until now, she had been staying with Puigdemont in Belgium.