Don't tell me the moon is shining;
show me the glint of light on broken glass.
~Anton Chekhov

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Michigan Democratic Voters Made Impotent


As an "Independent" voter, the primary process, (being forced to "choose" a party in order to vote in the primary) is irritating enough.

However, this election is too important.

And like it or not, in the United States the reality is that only a Democrat or Republican will win the White House.

There is no one in the Republican race I would want to see as President.


  • I knew that there had been a conflict between the State and National Democratic parties over Michigan's primary date being moved to January 15th. I knew that the Democratic candidates had 'pledged' not to campaign in Michigan for the primary.

I found that somewhat insulting. However, there are so many places on the internet that offered detailed information on the candidates, I knew I could learn what I needed to know elsewhere.

  • I knew Hillary Clinton had not withdrawn her name from the Michigan Ballot.

  • I knew that the other Democratic candidates (Dodd, Kucinich, Gravel) on the ballot had already dropped out of the race.


  • I had assumed that I could write-in the names of Obama or Edwards had I chosen to vote for them.

Apparently not.

Neither filed the necessary paperwork by yesterday's deadline to qualify as write-in candidates.

Therefore, any voter the writes their name in on their ballot--
will cast a vote that will not be counted.


  • I can vote for a candidate that has withdrawn from the race.
Why bother?

  • I can vote for Hillary Clinton.
  • I can cast my vote as "uncommitted". On the surface this is supposed to mean that those Democratic delegates to the national convention will arrive 'uncommitted' to any particular candidate. On the surface, that doesn't sound that bad.
However, I have two problems with that plan.

  1. The total of 'uncommitted' votes much reach at least 15% in order for the uncommitted delegates to be included at the convention.
  2. The national Democratic party is threatening to refuse to seat Michigan delegates at the convention because the State Party didn't follow their orders about the primary date.


The Primary process is supposed to provide voters in every State an opportunity to choose the person that they would like to see receive support at the convention. In the past thirty years, candidates have pretty much locked up their votes and were clearly the party's choice prior to the convention.

I have long been a proponent of a one-day National Primary. I think it is unfair that voters in Iowa and New Hampshire are allowed to choose among more candidates. It makes me angry that their opinion carries more weight than mine.

I also believe that the current system forces candidates to expend unbelievable amounts of money to 'win' in just a few States. If every State voted at the same time, I would hope that would reduce 'political promises' and huge expenditures.

When Michigan moved up its date, I was glad.
I would be able to make an actual choice.
A big State would be able to 'weigh' in during the early portions of the race.

I had hoped that it would lead the way for other States to do the same.
No doubt, that is what the National Democratic Party also fears. Apparently they like the system the way it is.

The only candidate still standing who was willing to 'buck' their system is Hillary Clinton.

I was genuinely undecided. In fact, I have been leaning a little towards Edwards over the past few days. But he isn't giving me the opportunity to vote for him. Neither is Barack Obama.

So I will vote for Hillary Clinton.

If the National Democratic Party refuses to seat any Michigan delegates at their national convention, my vote still won't count.

However, if they are that idiotic, I give up any hope on our current system anyway.


Anonymous said...

I'm toying with the idea of voting Republican so I can cast my vote AGAINST overly religous candidates. This is not the way democracy is supposed to work, but it is the best of a bad situation in my opinion. A.B.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how voting Republican will cast a vote "against" overly religious candidates? All I have to say is....Mitt Romney. Does that ring a bell?

Pamela Lach said...

So how do you choose between Huckabee and Romney?