Friday, March 07, 2008

The Florida, Michigan Delegates Dilemma.

As we know, there has been a lot of back and forth about whether to seat the Florida and Michigan delegates who were "elected" in primaries that were deemed invalid by the Democratic Party. These two states where told that if they moved their election dates up in the primary calendar that they would be punished by the party for not following party rules and that their delegates would not be legitimate.

Here is my opinion. The reason behind a political party is to organize people who share similar ideologies, opinions, principles, visions and interests. A political party formulates a certain structure and coalition to maximize the collective shared individual views in order to gain political office to dictate policy.

These parties create rules and regulations to maintain that coalition and maximum power. It's rules and regulations are somewhat similar to laws of the states and federal governments to maintain order and organization. Without rules and regulations a political parties coalition would fall apart and therefore the party would be more likely to disintegrate into different factions and splinter groups.

So with all this being said, I do not support the view that the Michigan and Florida delegates should be seated at the Democratic convention in Denver. That is because they violated the rules with full knowledge of what the consequences would be. This is tragic for the voters for those states because they were abandoned and "thrown under the bus" by their the Florida and Michigan Democratic state parties. It is, however, not the fault of the overall party which represents all the states of the union that these two states decided to do their own thing. There must be enforcement of the rules or else chaos would ensue and each state would decide to follow their own rules. Thus, the above mentioned breakup of the party would be more likely to ensue. There must be order to maintain the power and order of the collective voters of a certain party.

It is not fair to the rest of the states who followed the rules to accommodate two states who broke the rules. It is a dangerous precedent to allow state parties to break the rules but then given another chance after complaining that they were disenfranchised. They knew full well that they would be disenfranchied when they made the original decision to break with the national party!!

Imagine that you have say five children and three of the five (the majority of states) obeyed the rules of the household (The DNC) as determined by the parents (The DNC officials). Then two of the kids (Florida and Michigan) break the rules but don't want to face the consequences of their actions. In keeping with the example, suppose after a bunch of whining and complaining that you allow the two kids who broke the rules to not have to pay for their actions. This would enrage the three kids who didn't disobey and they would feel upset and rightly so. They would feel that the two other kids received special treatment and would send the example that the rules don't have to be followed in the future.

At that point all five of the kids would want to make their own rules and when chastised say to the parents that if the two other kids could break the rules then so could they. The parents would lose their power to maintain structure and respect of their authority would be shattered. At that point the family would fall into severe dysfunction. See what I'm getting at?

Then there is the problem of seating the delegates without a redo because Hillary was the only one on the ballot in Michigan and no one was allowed to run in either state. Seating those delegates despite those problems would be undemocratic in the least. Now you might say that not allowing the two states to revote is undemocratic but I'd say that it is not because they didn't follow the rules. If you don't follow the rules of an election and say try to vote twice but get caught, you can't come back and scream that not counting your vote at all as punishment for you disobedience is undemocratic!!!

Speaking of rerunning those elections, I am quite disturbed about that view because again, it shows that rules don't apply. But perhaps more importantly, what would keep other states from wanting to have a "redo?" What would keep the Obama campaign from saying that they want to rerun elections that they barely lost such as California and Texas? How could the national party grant the two states who didn't follow the rules another chance but not the other states?

Yes, it is tragic that the state parties of Michigan and Florida screwed their own voters but that's not the fault of everyone else!!! The right thing to do is get in the face of those state party officials who used their voters as pawns.

This all makes me wonder if the Clinton campaign would want these delegates to be seated if they had lost those two states? If Barack had won those two states I would still be against seating those delegates or having a redo because the rule of law should be sacrosanct in a Democracy.

The only thing that is fair is to split those delegates 50/50.

I'm telling you and the Democratic Party right now that if this goes ahead, I will never forgive the party and most likely switch to a Greenie for good. I am already an Independent from other issues that I've had with some elected Democrats but I still mostly vote Democrat. However, mark my words, is this happens it will be the end of the Democratic Party. If you are as outraged as I am that the national party is even considering these two options then I suggest that you email/write to the DNC and tell them that how you feel.

UPDATE: Have you heard that the Clinton campaign is comparing Obama to Ken Starr because he criticized her for not releasing her tax returns?!!! The obvious is that this is an absurd, below the belt typically Clintonian attack. In addition though I wonder if the Clinton's really want to bring up the Ken Starr specter. Do they really want to crack that book open again?

(Cross posted at: The Political Junkie).

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Blogger Travis Foulks said...

I think that the two states are right to want their votes counted. The issue I have is that it would be a biased election. Hillary was the only who campaigned those two. I don't blame Obama for skipping them. He was told they wouldn't count! Splitting the delegates seems fair but will not happen. Let them both campaign them again.
The issue with that isthe states not willing to fund a new election. Let the Democratic Party and the two states split the cost and let the people be heard.

3:46 PM, March 08, 2008  

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