Thursday, March 6, 2008

Why Contested Games Are Not Replayed
March 6th, 2008

Michigan and Florida willfully violated the rules set forth by the Democratic party and agreed to by the candidates prior to the beginning of the primary season. Now they want to re-write those rules mid-game in the name of “fairness to the voters”. Consider:

Your team has lost, and you’ve seen the replay over and over again. You grow more livid every time you make yourself suffer the outrage of seeing the referee, once again, cost your team the game. Finally, the sports writers’ pugnaciousness bears fruit and the league is forced to admit they erred on the call. Ah, vindication is sweet. Or is it?

So what happens now? Surely the game is replayed and your team has a fair chance to win, as you originally believed they would have, right? No. No, you’re left feeling that a game has been wrenched from your grasp and a damnable injustice has been done, and it will not be undone.

It’s a matter of history that cannot be corrected, for the original conditions can never be duplicated in order to provide the same conditions that would have reaped the outcome that should have been. It could be weather or it could be an injury to a key player that would render a redux moot. So the loss stands.

Howard Dean now says that a fair solution would be to have Florida and Michagan have a new vote in the primaries, based on the tight delegate counts for Obama and Clinton. What is not taken into account is the absence of Kucinich (D-OH) and Edwards, the former Democratic senator from South Carolina. Yes, they were on the ballot in Florida, but they did not campaign there because they knew the rules made it a waste of time. And in Michigan, they did not even have their names on the ballot.

So what to do? Do we simply seat the delegates from those states, or have another vote? Do we bring now meaningless candidates back in the event of a re-vote? And what if these two states had abided by the rules in the first place; would either Kucinich or Edwards still be viable candidates? Or do we reset everything back to the beginning of the primary season?

The entire dynamic of the primary process has already been set in stone, and it cannot be undone with any modicum of fairness to the voter. There is not enough time to bring all of the candidates back to do the whole thing over. So what’s left? Sure, there will be much wailing over the alleged “disenfranchisement” of the voters of Michigan and Florida, but if they had followed the rules from the beginning, none of this would be cause for conversation.

The remaining candidates should reject Michigan and Florida’s delegates as they originally pledged. Pure and simple…

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