Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Warning: what you are about to see is not a real vote

Denver, Democratic National Convention, August 24 - 3:30 Mountain Time

In the previous post on this site, I discussed the private delegate sessions held during the day before today's Convention officially convened. Apparently, the delegates were required to sign ballot sheets in those sessions, and it seems that it is these ballot sheets that will be tallied in the next couple of hours during the official "roll call vote". In my previous post, I noted all the ways delegates themselves could, in principle, object to what happens on the floor, including basing an objection into being forced to participate in these private meetings under duress.

But I doubt that will happen - not for lack of delegates who would want to do so - but because such tremendous acts of political courage in the face of oppression are exceedingly hard to muster.

If delegates do muster the will to fight today on the Convention Floor for a democratic Democratic party, they will, I have no doubt be quashed by Speaker Pelosi who long ago gave up on democratic procedures and principles or even showing enough integrity to have her Party abide by its own Rules.

Regardless of what people see on their televisions over the next hour or so, do not be fooled. No ritual that is preceded by private balloting can be understand to be a genuine or authentic vote. When Americans go to vote in the general election, for example, they will not be rounded up beforehand and asked to sign documents stating how they will vote before hand. If we were, the documents would not count as votes anyway. That is because, messy and imperfect as federal elections can be, the one thing the government does is at least try to do is to make the elections that occur on Election Day be genuine decision making making mechanisms, a chance for those eligible to vote to cast ballots according to a previously established procedure to use that procedure to decide the question at hand.

Quite the opposite has occurred at the Democratic Party convention this year. Every effort has been made to ensure that today's televised proceedings NOT be the actual mechanism to decide the Democratic Party's nominee, to turn what could and should have been a vote into a "vote".
What we are watching today more closely resembles closely Iranian parliamentary elections than U.S. federal elections.

A "vote" is not a vote. It is a sham, a fake, a show.

A respectful recommendation: a contribution to The Denver Group, an organization that will keep on fighting for democracy in the Democratic Party regardless of whatever spectacles are on display this particular week in Denver.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your insight, Heidi. I already knew the roll call would be rigged in Obama's favor. What I want to know is why would Hillary even ask for the roll call if she were going to give pledged delegates she earned to Obama. She had no right to give our votes away. This is not a catharsis for us. We are living in a third world country. Aren't men dying in Iraq for democracy?
Do we have any recourse for a class action lawsuit against the DNC?

August 27, 2008 at 7:35 PM  
Blogger Double Jointed Fingers said...

Heidi, I read your post a few minutes after the roll call started. I was in tears, for the first time in this campaign. All of the donations, the phone calls, the time and hard work by thousands upon thousands of hard working, middle class people were wasted. It was for naught as far as a free and fair primary was concerned.

I will vote for McCain. It is the only protest that I have left.

August 28, 2008 at 6:50 AM  

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