Thursday, March 6, 2008

Florida and Michigan will decide Democrats’ fate (if they’re allowed to…)!

Is it weird to pledge delegates over a month after the primary has passed? Apparently not if you’re Michigan or Florida. Before their respective primaries in January, the Democratic National Committee revoked the convention seats of both states’ delegates after they violated the DNC’s rules by scheduling primaries too early. But after Hilary Clinton’s remarkable comeback on March 4, it seems unlikely that either candidate will have enough delegates to clinch the nomination before the Democratic convention. With 366 pledged delegates between the two states, these votes could push either candidate into the nomination, and both state governors are fighting to make this happen! So what does this have to do with the youth?

In a compelling article by Robert D. Putnam, he argues that refusing to count the votes of millions of young voters because of mistakes made by inside politicians could make young and first time voters fall back into their old habits of political apathy. He feels that it is simply not fair to punish the excited new voters for things out of their control. What do you think? Should these votes be counted, or should the DNC obey the rules they made? Would the inclusion of these delegates re-disenfranchise young voters? Is re-disenfranchise even a word??

Howard Dean, chairman of the DNC, said of the situation, “The rules were set a year and a half ago. Florida and Michigan voted for them and then decided that they didn't need to abide by the rules. When you're in a contest you do need to abide by the rules.” Dean is sympathetic to the voters, however, and has started discussions with both democratic state parties to resolve the situation. “It's not the voters' fault in Florida and Michigan that they didn't get included,” Dean said, “so we think it's a good thing to have these discussions going on."

If you were in these discussions, what would be an appropriate resolution between the two states and the DNC?