Thursday, May 15, 2008

Florida and Michigan should be allowed to vote, and here's why...

On another blog written by Ryan J. Rusak, he stated - much to his amazement, since he's a Republican - that he agrees with something that former president Jimmy Carter said. Carter had said that Florida's and Michigan's votes shouldn't count, because the heads of those respective state Democratic Parties knew that there would be consequences to trying to move up their primaries. And that consequence, of course, was the denial of their delegates.

I disagree, however, with both Mr. Rusak and Mr. Carter, and here's why: I am bothered - very bothered, actually - by the denial of the right to vote. I don't like governments doing it, and I don't like political parties doing it. It's not a good habit for either entity to be engaging in, because if they get away with doing it once, they'll find other reasons to do it again. Yes, the Dems will say that "this time, it was a good reason", but in a democracy such as ours, denying anyone their right to vote is the first step on the path to totalitarianism. Remember that old Chinese proverb about the journey of a thousand miles beginning with a single step? That's what I'm talking about here, except it's a step that I want to prevent.

The decision to move up the primaries was done by the party heads, and yet it's the voters in both Florida and Michigan that are getting screwed. And in case you are thinking it - no, I don't think that parties should get away with moving their primaries around willy-nilly. I have a better solution: Any party that tries to move their primary UP will instead get their primary moved DOWN - all the way to the last day of the primary season. I call it the "back of the line" rule. In other words, if you try to cut in line, you'll get bumped all the way to the back of the line. With such a rule, the voters still get to vote, just much later. That, I think, is a better way of handling this situation than denying outright the right for voters to vote.

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