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Sunday, August 26, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via WaPo: DNC Strips Florida Of 2008 Delegates

The Democratic National Committee sought to seize control of its unraveling nominating process yesterday, rejecting pleas from state party leaders and cracking down on Florida for scheduling a Jan. 29 presidential primary.

The DNC’s rules and bylaws committee, which enforces party rules, voted yesterday morning to strip Florida of all its delegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver — the harshest penalty at its disposal.

The penalty will not take effect for 30 days, and rules committee members urged officials from the nation’s fourth-most-populous state to use the time to schedule a later statewide caucus and thus regain its delegates.

[…]

The DNC rules stipulate that states that have not been granted a special waiver must schedule presidential nominating contests after Feb. 5.

In other words, they can have a caucus sometime after February 5th to choose their delegates (an even that would cost the party and state $8 million, btw). The January primary, which coincides with a referendum on property taxes that Democrats oppose (so a vote is taking place that day no matter what), is now nothing more than a beauty contest. Further, at this point I am assuming the GOP primary, delegates and all, will still be on that date.

I understand that the DNC has rules, and that they have reasons to want to try and reign in the states, although their continued fealty to Iowa and New Hampshire’s “right” to dictate the primary schedule continues to baffle me. Further, the fact that Florida has been, and will remain, a key battleground state it strikes me as strategically odd that the DNC would do something that could negatively effect the way some voters in the state view the party. Really, if they want to pander, it makes more sense to pander to Florida than it does to pander to Iowa and New Hampshire.

I must confess, I find the following funny (if not ridiculous):

Donna Brazile, a member of the rules committee who argued for a swift and harsh punishment for Florida, said states’ desire to be more relevant in the nominating process does not excuse violations of rules intended to make the system fair for everyone.

Of the things that the current nomination system may be, fair isn’t one of them. Indeed, the general lack of fairness is the problem. At the moment the system to skewed to allow a handful of small population to make key decisions that shape the choices that the rest of the country will have in the process. Further, the rules in question have, in the past, created a situation in which large numbers of states (which really means large numbers of voters) were utterly unimportant in terms of choosing the nominees. Even now, with the mad rush to be early, the system is going to eventually produce a large number of voters who really might as well not go vote because the results will have been determined before their vote is even cast. How can that be a “fair” system? Indeed, how can that be a desirable system?

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Filed under: US Politics | |

2 Comments

  1. Florida voter disenfranchisement!!!!

    Oh Noes!

    Comment by Steven L. — Sunday, August 26, 2007 @ 9:08 am

  2. The Democratic Party’s Primary Tantrums

    I have no horse in the race (i.e., by states) to be first or close to first in the 2008 primaries.

    So I can only scratch my head in befuddlement at

    Trackback by A Stitch in Haste — Tuesday, August 28, 2007 @ 4:29 pm

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