Are National Conventions Still Important Essay

Submitted By paulinaanna
Words: 418
Pages: 2

Are national conventions still important? (15 marks)
A national convention is a meeting held once every 4 years usually during August up until early September of the election year. At the convention, delegates, most chosen in the primaries and caucuses, from each of the major and some minor parties meet to select their presidential and vice presidential candidates as well as to write a party platform. In 2012 Republicans held their conventions at Tempa, Florida 27th-30th August, whereas Democrats held theirs at Charlotte, North Carolina 4th-6th September.
In the pre-reform days, delegates would meet in the convention hall and make up their mind then on who to choose as the party’s presidential candidate. However, now the conventions choose the party’s presidential candidate in a roll-call vote, in which each states’ delegate announces which candidate they wish to vote for. To win the nomination, a candidate must receive majority of the votes. In 2008 Obama needed 2,210 to win. It is important as well as more accurate to say that the Convention ‘confirms’ rather than chooses the candidate. Not since the Republican convention in 1976 has the choice of presidential candidate been in doubt at the openings of either party’s convention. If no candidate gains the majority of the votes, balloting continues until one candidate does, which automatically results in delegates becoming free agents, meaning they are no longer committed to vote for one candidate.
Choosing the vice-presidential candidate has formally, also been up to the National Party Convention, however once again this function has been lost. Nowadays, the running mate is chosen by the…