The presidential primaries "are rigged" on both sides, and this year's election will be the last of their kind, Republican strategists Bruce Abramson and Jeff Ballabon claim in an opinion piece for CNBC.
With Democrats, they write, a "top-down system" provides the illusion of inclusiveness, but it still maintains the party elite's power by allowing for "superdelegates," the two strategists write.
And on the Republican side, the system allows state parties to write allocation rules, but preserves the party elite's power through a complicated convention system that does not allow a candidate to be nominated on the first ballot without a majority of primary votes.
The Democratic structure shows how they approach governing, Abramson and Ballabon write, because it allows the nation's "super-elite, wealthy, professional classes: to govern over the nation's poorest citizens, "allegedly for the good of the poor."
And the superdelegates will push Hillary Clinton toward her nomination, even while its "detached paternalism" is not faring well with Bernie Sanders' supporters.
With the Republicans, the approach is inconsistent with the party's image of decentralized authority, while complicating government, the strategists write.
On both sides, the primaries are not truly elections, they write, to fill an office, but rather held to select delegates, but "America's political elite has created the illusion of democracy to serve the not-necessarily-democratic goal of selecting convention delegates and party nominees."
Further, they said that winner-take-all and "open" primaries make no sense and allow a nomination process to be dominated by the parties' elite.
And as a result, the American people are experiencing "disaster," which is the only way to describe a system that allows disliked candidates like Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to be their parties' front-runners.
As both parties have designed systems that expose their weaknesses, it is not likely to last, Abramson and Ballabon said.
"Neither party seems poised to offer the country the new leadership it craves — and needs," they conclude. "The voters deserve better."
Abramson is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, and director of policy at the Iron Dome Alliance. Ballabon, CEO of B2 Strategic, previously headed the communications and public policy department for CBS News, Court TV, and other key organizations.
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