What happens to Bernie if he loses the nomination?

Another, help me understand your political system question. What happens to Bernie if he loses the nomination narrowly ? Say 47-53 percent nationally on the primaries. Does he just go back to being a senator? Is he likely to be appointed a cabinet position if Clinton wins?

In Australia a politician with as much support as Bernie has would be an important part of government one way or the other. He could run as “The Bernie Party” in our senate and since we have proportional representation and preferential voting, if he got 25% of the senate votes nationwide he’d have 25 percent of the senators. He could then form a coalition government with one of the major parties. In your winner takes all system is he likely to have any influence beyond just a senator in a Clinton government?

He’ll still be a senator. Senatorial terms last 6 years. He was reelected in 2012 for a 2013-2019 term, so he still has 3 years of that term left.

I suspect that Bernie would prefer being a Senator than to have any cabinet position that Hillary would offer. That’s not always the case though. Hillary Clinton and John Kerry are two Democratic Presidential nominees who served with distinction as Secretary of State.

Nationally Bernie is polling at 37.7% among the Democratic voters who make up maybe a third of the electorate. So 12.5% of the total is less than overwhelming, unless he could establish crossover appeal. Which quite frankly he can’t, at least convincingly. Republicans are holding their fire now, but this is a guy who has never been the recipient of an avalanche of right wing mud. Yet.

It’s very different than a parliamentary election and especially from a proportional representation one. He’s not leading his party into a Senate election, the Presidency is a completely separate post and vote. It really doesn’t have anything to do with “winner take all”.

If he wasn’t just a Democrat come lately, a good showing in the nomination and popularity could score you a nice appointment but I don’t see it happening here.

Well its a combination of your first past the post and no preferential voting system. The point I was trying to make is that someone with even only 12 percent of the national vote can gain considerably more influence than just a single senator has, by leading a minority party in our senate.

There’s no comparable option in the US for someone like Bernie. He runs for President or he somehow jockeys for a cabinet position, thats it.

  1. He doesn’t want a cabinet position. A Senate seat is a superior gig.

  2. You are correct, generally speaking. In fact it’s probably worse than you think. Bernie has done incredibly well for a candidate who reflects the preferences of perhaps 10-20% of the voting public. Generally speaking the left fringe of the US doesn’t get voice, never mind power. Bernie Sanders and before him Ron Dellums are arguably the only two lefties to have served in Congress.

  3. Which helps explain why he would want to keep his Senate seat. He is probably more comfortable without a muzzle.

he could go back to the USSR.

Sanders will remain a Senator until 2019. The question is if he runs for reelection in 2018. I don’t know if he would want to be a member of Hillary Clinton’s presidential administration.

Well not exacty. There is a whole bunch of very powerful Committees in the Senate. Getting those jobs still isn’t decided by your popular vote count though. Sanders has sat on a few of those.

Canada has a first past the post too but third parties have managed to break in but it is hard.

Because of a difference in political culture, perhaps . . . I’ve seen it theorized that the appeal of the NDP and its generally social-democratic way of thinking is – rather counterintuitively – rooted in part on a British “Tory” tradition of a responsible and paternalistic state, taking care of the people like a good squire takes care of his peasants. Which sounds a bit distasteful to modern minds, but, replace the squires with elected pols and civil servants, and the result ain’t at all bad.

That is tres bizarre to say the least. The NDP has it’s roots in the labour and socialist movement.

I’m back in the USSR… you don’t know how lucky you are, boy.

Got time machine?

Hillary will give him a cabinet position somewhere. :wink:

What can Bernie actually achieve on a national scale (as opposed to in Vermont) as a Senator? Again asking from ignorance of your political system.

It the Dems take over the Senate, Sanders would be the Chairman of the Budget Committee due to seniority. I think. From wikipedia, his current committee assignments follow:

Committee on the Budget (Ranking Member)
Committee on Environment and Public Works
[INDENT]Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety
Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Economy
Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Subcommittee on Energy
Subcommittee on National Parks
Subcommittee on Water and Power
Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Subcommittee on Children and Families
Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging (Ranking Member)
Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
[/INDENT][/INDENT] Ranking members of the minority party are slotted to be Chairmen if there’s a party turnover. Though admittedly, chairmanships no longer invariably follow the seniority rules: Gingrich changed that.

OK but how much power do the Chairmen of those committees actually have?

It works somewhat the same here, in that one Senator can have disproportionate influence as the leader of some caucus of like-minded Senators. Any such leadership is always going to be more informal than in a parliamentary system, of course, because every vote here is a free vote.

I’m not aware of Sanders having had any such influence in the past, but if his campaign continues to show a certain success with that wing of the Democrats, his profile might be higher going forward.

Committee chairs can set an agenda, and they have some power to prevent disfavored legislation from getting out of committee to a floor vote. Note that the Budget Committee is less powerful than it might sound, because its mission is essentially more policy-oriented than operational. Actual spending bills go through the Appropriations Committee, and tax bills go through the Finance Committee.

Ok so what do the party whips do in the US system if every vote is a free vote? (I’m aware you have them from watching House of Cards :wink: ) And is there any like minded Senators to Bernie? I had a feeling he was rather unique?

I agree.

Now I’m imagining the continuing Senate career of Ted Cruz, after he loses the nomination or the general election for President. He’ll have his work in the Senate to fall back on–and he’s mostly used the job as a stepping stone to his God-given Destiny.

OP is based on a false premise. As Bernie himself stresses repeatedly, his campaign is not about Bernie, it’s about his ideas. Bernie is probably happy to serve out another term. He’s approaching retirement age and is himself surprised that he almost came in first in Iowa.

The real significance of Berney’s electoral success is how it broadens the range of permitted discourse and informs decision-makers of Americans’ appetite for change.

For example, after Michelle Bachmann …

… won the 2013 Straw Poll, the GOP learned to adapt to appeal to voters who were batshit-insane. Similarly, if Bernie wins the N.H. Primary, the Democratic Party may need to adapt to voters who put the future of democracy and the welfare of common American citizens ahead of the interests of the super-rich.