Mar 6, 2008

Democratic Delegates

A couple weeks back I slightly pushed the Political Door open.  Then yesterday I pushed it a little further.  Since I haven't gotten attacked or beaten with rods, I guess I should just go ahead and kick the door in and jump.

There is a huge battle brewing about the Democratic Delegates from Florida and Michigan.  Here's the latest.  The Democratic Party punished Michigan and Florida for moving their Presidential primaries earlier in the election season.  The punishment was the that their primaries would not count, and the delegates would not be seated at the convention.  With the Democratic Party, the delegates are handed out based on the outcome of the state.  Every candidate gets them, and the percentage of votes determines number of delegates.  The candidates all agreed to stay away from those two states.  Well, sort of...

Hillary Clinton put her name on the Michigan ballot, even though she wasn't supposed to.  And she actually did some campaigning in Florida, even though she promised she wouldn't.  So, she won both states.  Now, everyone in those two states want their delegates included.  If I was Obama, I would be furious about this.  You see, I can say all of this, because at this point I don't like ANYONE left in any of the races.  So I don't care about defending one person over another.  But these are the simple facts.
  • The Democrats agreed to stay out of Michigan and Florida.
  • Everyone did that - except Clinton.
  • She won both states - largely because of name recognition.
  • Voters in both states were told repeatedly their votes did not matter.
  • Voters in both states were not given the opportunity to hear both sides.
  • Clinton broke the Party's rules in both states.
So, why exactly should we just allow the delegates to be seated based on the original votes?  Clinton is obviously pushing for this because she is in trouble and knows she would score a bucket load of delegates for winning both states.  But is that fair?  I don't think so.  I think that it is dirty pool.  I mean everyone knew this battle would come up.  I don't know if everyone thought the Democratic race would be so close at this point.  But they knew that Florida and Michigan would want seated.  I'm guessing most pundits didn't think it would matter if they were.  But now it does.  

(And how is it that Florida is always at the center of these election fiascos?  I swear, it is like Florida is the Island from Lost or something.  I'm always expecting to run into Jack whenever I wander near a wooded region.  Think about it.  Bizarre weather patterns . . . Beaches . . . Big abandoned hatches all over (air raid shelters) . . . Lots of foreign people with agendas . . . Shipwrecks . . . Always causing trouble.  I'm making sense, aren't I?) 

I know that in Michigan the rules states that if over 15% of voters in the primary picked "Undecided" then the delegates assigned to that percent could vote however they wanted - allowing the other candidates to pick up some votes.  And it ended up that over 40% voted "Undecided."  But, still, that means that Clinton got 60% for breaking the rules.  

I think that the only fair thing is something that - of all people to come up with a smart thought - Howard Dean (head of the Democratic Party) came up with is to re-vote in Michigan and Florida.  This is the only fair thing!  It is the only way to make sure that a "true" democratic process is observed that is fair to all candidates.  It is the only way to allow both Clinton and Obama a chance to win voters.  And it is the only way to make sure that the Democratic Party is able to choose the person the party really wants.  

If you think this doesn't matter to you because you are a Republican or Independent or Green or whatever, think about this.  There is a very good probability that the person who wins the Democratic nomination will be elected.  They are leading in every poll - regardless of who wins the Party nod.  So, it really comes down to the fact that how Florida and Michigan go will determine the nominee.  If it stays as is and the delegates aren't included, Obama will very likely win.  If they are included based on the messed up election, Clinton will very likely win.  Kind of raises the stakes, doesn't it? 

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