Sunday, June 1, 2008

Of great interest recently has been the battle in the Democratic Party. One might think that a primary this heated and fought this long would be good for the country. One would hope that as these two candidates meet from state to state they would be talking about the issues and explaining their plans. They would be analyzing each others’ plans, critiquing them. The citizens would see the process of a good idea made better.

Finally in the party’s convention we would see the final hammering out of a solution for healthcare, education and gas prices, laid out into a party platform that all democrats would sign on to and work towards. Because it was a combination of all the best parts of everyone’s plans.

By now we should know who each candidate is, what they believe and how they will go about enacting their solutions, step by step. But at this point all I know is that Obama is for change, though I don’t know what change that precisely is, and that he is young and inexperienced. What I’ve learned about Hillary is that she has the best chance, of the two democrats, to win the election in November. And that she is running a negative, kitchen sink, campaign.

I know many people actively supporting each candidate, and yet few of them can tell me who has a better plan on any issue, nor can any of them even tell me what their candidate’s plan is. The biggest part of this problem is that these people are what are commonly referred to as activists. They are passionate about their candidate. They are passionately against the other candidate. Yet they can not tell me how one or the other will make my life, their life, or what really matters, how they will make our country a better country.

The most glaring problem with the democrats is not that they still have two candidates fighting for the nomination. It is that they blatantly disregard their own values. They have been screaming for 8 years about people’s right to vote. They’ve been yelling about disenfranchised voters (people not being able to vote). They been hiring lawyers and filing court cases all over the country about voter fraud and people’s votes not being counted for this reason or that. Yet they won’t let their own people cast their votes at their own convention. This weekend their party announced a ‘compromise.’ They would seat the delegates from Florida and Michigan, but with only half a vote. Since when does someone only get half a vote? Since the 3/5ths compromise in which we gave free men a full vote and slaves a 3/5 vote. The way the Democratic party has divvied up the delegates in these two states reminds me of the way the slave owner then cast the ballot for their slaves, essentially disregarding what the slave would have voted and casting their ballot the way the slave owner wants the slave to vote.

If this party truly believed in one person, one vote, they wouldn’t be having caucuses where if your candidate does not have enough votes in your precinct among the people who were able to show up at that precise time and location, you are forced to change your vote to one of the other candidates. Not to mention if you are working, homebound, or out of town for whatever reason, you don’t even get to vote. They would ensure that no matter your circumstances, you could cast your vote and your vote would be counted. They wouldn’t be penalizing the voters in a state because a few changed the date of their election, they would be working with that state to make sure that every voice was heard.

In announcing their decision this weekend on the Democratic website, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and Rules and Bylaws Committee Co-Chairs Alexis Herman and Jim Roosevelt gave the three principles they made their decision on.

“One, that we must be fair to the voters in both states. Two, that we must be fair to both campaigns who abided by the rules in good faith and three, that we must be fair to the 48 states that followed the rules.”

One, I’m not sure how giving them less than a full vote is being fair to the voters in both states. Two, Well to tell you the truth I don’t really care about the “campaigns”. Three if they were concerned about being fair to the other 48 states, then why do those states each get less of a say about who the candidate will be then a single American territory?

If they want to play by the rules they wouldn’t have representation from American territories selecting their candidate for president, since the Electoral College does not give any representation to the people in the territories. They wouldn’t be giving Puerto Rico more delegates than 25 of the states. If the party hadn’t seated Florida and Michigan delegates, one territory would have more influence in who their party candidate is than 27 of the 50 States. Quick math, that is 54% of the states. I’m not quite sure how this is fair to any of the other 48 states, or how this can be construed as playing by the rules.

While I still personally believe that the best way to get something/anything done in government is to be a member of either party, I am coming to a greater understanding of why our country’s founding fathers were so adamantly opposed to political parties.

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