Thursday, May 29, 2008

Re: Letter to the Vote Nazis

Question: A quick question about the Democratic delegate process: my understanding is that in Michigan, all of the candidates except Hillary pulled their names off the ballot at the behest of the DNC. If Barack and the others weren’t even on the ballot, doesn’t that make her argument about heeding the voice of the people rather hollow regarding the MI vote? (I know, that sounds like a push-poll question, but I really am curious. The news articles mostly seem to gloss right over that point.)

Reponse: Here’s the way I answered that when I wrote my Letter to the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee:

“I am also aware that one of the remaining candidates was not on the Michigan ballot. But I understand that he withdrew his name voluntarily. Skipping particular primaries or caucuses for tactical reasons has a long tradition. This cannot be regarded as a valid reason not to count the results of the Michigan primary.

“Not counting the Michigan and Florida primaries gives one candidate an unfair double benefit. Not only is his opponent deprived of delegates fairly won, but the number of delegates he needs for nomination has presumptively been lowered to 2025.”
I don’t particularly care as much about the tactical advantages or disadvantages to a particular candidate as the democratic principles at stake - whether voters or party insiders get to pick the candidates we vote on. The fact is that the political parties have never liked primaries. They were introduced as a reform and the political parties have resisted at every turn. If this was done “at the behest of the DNC” in concert with other candidates it is no less an affront to the voters of Michigan.

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