Thursday, March 22, 2007

Count Every Vote! (Unless it's in Florida....)

The Florida House of Representatives has passed a bill that would move the date of the Florida Presidential primary to January 29th, a full week before California's new date of February 5th. The Florida Senate is considering similar legislation. The reason is that we want our votes to count, damnit!

Senators of both parties have stated support for an earlier primary. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate, the Senate sponsor of a primary bill, said the state would benefit by forcing presidential candidates to cater to state interests on issues such as windstorm insurance just as they cozy up to Iowa farmers on ethanol.

"The only leverage that we're going to have with the presidential candidates is when they come to Florida and campaign here, and not just campaign for our money. They're going to have to campaign for what's important to Florida," Ring said.
However, Florida's efforts to make itself relevant to the presidential nomination process will meet resistance.
Aside from a few exceptions such as Iowa and New Hampshire, states that hold primaries to select delegates before Feb. 5 lose half their allotment of delegates to the national nominating convention. And Democratic Party rules say candidates can be penalized for campaigning in a state that picks its delegates before Feb. 5 -- by being forced to forfeit the delegates won in that state.

"States can move wherever they want, but there are automatic sanctions," Democratic National Committee spokesman Luis Miranda said. "We will enforce the rules." [emphasis added]
In other words, if Florida tries to become relevant to the process, the Democratic party will take away our right to vote! This, friends, is comedy gold! (To be fair, the Republican Party has similar sanctions in mind. But everyone already knows the Republicans don't give a damn about vote totals in Florida.)

However, if they take away our right to vote the net effect will be the status quo, because Florida hasn't mattered in the primary process in decades.
It has been more than three decades since Florida mattered in picking presidential candidates. Other states have moved up their primaries, and more attention has been going to earlier states. In the past few campaigns, the party's nominees have been effectively decided before Florida's March primary.
So March is too late, January is too early, and February is too crowded. Regardless of when we hold our primary, we're just not going to count. Situation nominal!


Pastor_Jeff said...

Every time I see that headline, I keep hearing the Mother Superior from "The Sound of Music" ...

Count every ballot!
Track every vote!
'Til the wants of Florida
No longer seem remote.

justkim said...

I should know better than to read filk when I'm eating lunch. I end up choking on salad, and that's never pretty.