Monday, August 18, 2008

How to ensure a free and fair election at the Democratic National Convention - Part 2

Whatever comments are being made people who do not have the authority to run the convention (e.g. Governor Bill Richardson when interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN yesterday), the roll call vote process in Denver can indeed be genuinely democratic. This means, among other things, without pressure being placed on Senator Clinton to release her delegates unless and until she, and she alone, decides to make such a move.

Note that even were Senator Clinton to release her delegates, her pledged delegates may vote for, on any ballot. Indeed, under the rules, they are expected to do so on the first ballot. In subsequent ballots should they be necessary, nobody's pledged delegates are under any expectatio under the rules to vote for any particular nominee, meaning, for example, that should a first ballot prove inconclusive, Obama pledged delegates could, quite appropriately vote for Senator Clinton on a second ballot just as her pledged delegates could, equally appropriately vote for Senator Obama.

Having clarified that matter, time to clarify another one. The primary focus for this post as it was in the previous one is on the nuts and bolts of ensuring that the nomination election in Denver is free and fair. Before turning to the role of election observers, let me forestall an excuse bound to be used by those who either would prefer not to see a free and fair election or who claim that it is somehow logistically impossible. One crucial variable in running any event is cost, of course. The DNCC (Democratic National Convention Committee) is already having trouble paying its bills for the convention - this has led to Senator Obama contacting "soft money" donors for funds for the DNCC, a measure he has repeatedly said he opposed. But needs must as needs may.

Whatever the budgetary woes of the DNC and the DNCC, several options are available to fund what one would expect to be of the highest priority for the Democratic Party: showing the world how to operate a genuinely democratic election. Funds could be reallocated from some line items to this purpose. But I believe that a separate funding channel, dedicated sole to taking specified measures to ensure the integrity of the roll call vote, could and should be established, and I believe that plenty of people would donate funds for the purpose, particularly if the fund-drive were spearheaded by somebody trusted to handle the money raised as promised.

Trust. That is what the The Democratic Party must regain now. By using trained election observers to monitor its floor votes and the procedures leading up to these the Democratic Party might be able to undo the damage being done by people like Governor Richardson who make claims that make it apparent that they will only "feel comfortable" with a roll call vote if they know its results in advance - which means they do not feel comfortable with a free and fair election at the Democratic Party's nominating Convention.

Discussion to be continued in next post.


Blogger A.Citizen said...

Americans vote and they vote in secret and they count all the votes.

If the DNC cannot understand this then better that they be exposed as the fascistii that they are. I'm sick and tired of the b.s. They either shape up or they lose big time in the GE.

Nobody wants to vote for Obama in the GE anyway. A rigged Convention will give McCain exactly what he needs to win.

Proof the Dems are as corrupt and morally bankrupt as his party is.

August 18, 2008 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Annie said...

For many months I could not figure out if the DNC really expected to win with Obama , or was it all a big set up to knock out Hillary and set the table for McCain? That the Dem were rolling over for the GOP like they have done for 8 years, just on a grander scale? Now I'm beginning to think their mission is to wreck the party take a dive. Because other wise neither the DNC's or Obama's behavior makes any sense whatsoever.

August 18, 2008 at 11:07 PM  

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