Thursday, March 06, 2008

Howard Dean Can Do Something About Michigan And Florida

Today in a statement Howard Dean, the Democratic National Chairperson, repeated his stance of whether to seat the delegates of Michigan and Florida, two states that had their delegates taken away for moving their primaries up. Howard Dean in attempting to be non-partial as to not alienate Barack Obama's or Hillary Clinton's campaign, has retreated to a strict reading of the Democratic Party's Constitution. He stresses that Michigan and Florida broke the rules and changing them now by seating their delegates after the voting would give the appearence that the Democratic Party is unduly influencing the contest. He wrote:

"The Democratic Nominee will be determined in accordance with party rules, and out of respect for the presidential campaigns and the states that did not violate party rules, we are not going to change the rules in the middle of the game."
Now as Dean's statement articulated his fear of appearing biased and arguing the rules must be honoured, he is possibly alienating not just one campaign's voting base, but both. By retreating to a literal reading of the Democratic Party's Constitution, and not taking the reigns by attempting to find a solution, all the voters in Michigan and Florida will feel disenfranchized with the Democratic Party if this doesn't get settled.

In Dean's defense the Democratic Party's Constitution in Article Five, Section 4, does stipulate that he must be as impartial as possible:
"The conduct and management of the affairs and procedures of the Democratic National Committee, particularly as they apply to the preperation and conduct of the Presidential nomination process, the Chairperson shall exercise impartiality and evenhandedness as between Presidential candidates and campaigns"
However all the rules that Dean is relying upon are completely amendable by the Democratic National Committee. Basically his position is unteniable because he can actually act to find a solution while still acting by the letter of the Democratic Party's Constitution as Article 10 Section 2 gives the National Committee the power to ammend or create bylaws that could deal with this particular conflict:
"Section 2. Bylaws of the Democratic Party shall be adopted to provide for the governance of the affairs of the democratic party in matters not provided for in this Charter. Bylaws may be adopted or amended by a majority vote of:
(a) the National Convention; or
(b) the Democratic National Committee provided that thirty days written notice of any proposed by law or ammendment has been given to all members of the National Committee"
So Howard Dean can continue to issue statements and conduct interviews suggesting the onus is on the Democratic Parties in Michigan and Florida to find a solution or he can start to actively give the democrats in those two states representatives at the Convention.

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