The undersigned offer the following Amendment to the Platform of the Democratic Party.
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The Democratic Party will practice its commitment to voting rights within our own
Caucuses undermine these core Democratic values. Caucuses inherently disenfranchise
the elderly, disabled, shift workers, single parents and others whose circumstance
prohibits participation in caucuses. Further the 2008 primaries illustrated that a caucus
vote is worth more than a primary vote because each delegate elected by caucus
represents fewer voters than each delegate elected by primary. Caucuses allow party
officials, spouses, employers or other aggressive participants to exert undue influence and
coercion over voters. Caucuses are also immune from federal oversight, while primaries
are subject to federal election law.
Therefore, the Democratic Party will forbid caucuses in all future nominating processes
and will require all states to conduct primaries to select their delegates to future national
The above is the actual text of Amendment 93 which was ruled “Out of Order” at yesterday’s Democratic Platform Committee Meeting. I personally can see nothing out of order in the damn thing! For crying out loud, the committee entertained many amendments and most passed with NO DEBATE! Our amendment asking for free and fair elections with the elimination of caucuses got no hearing- no debate. Just ruled out of order by the chair with a promise that the “ROOLZ” committee will be looking at the issue of caucuses.
In the draft Section IV “Renewing American Democracy” there is a sub-section on voting rights. There is language stating the party “will work to fully protect and enforce the fundamental Constitutional right of every American to vote….” It seem to me that that language opened the door for Amendment 93. The amendment simply adds language stating that caucuses are a barrier that prevent American citizens from exercising their right to vote.
Wikipedia defines a Platform as
A party platform, also known as a manifesto, is a list of the principles which a political party supports in order to appeal to the general public for the purpose of having said party’s candidates voted into office. This often takes the form of a list of support for, or opposition to, controversial topics. Individual topics are often called planks of the platform.
A list of the principles, a list of support for or opposition to- controversial topics. This primary season, (which by the way does not conclude until the party conventions formally nominate a candidate,) has been chock full of controversial topics, and caucuses generated a huge amount of controversy! What the hell is wrong with the DNC and the Obama campaign? Do they really think they can hide the great divide in the party by stifling debate?
Using Robert’s Rules of Order to stifle debate is uncalled for and just one more sign of the desperation of Dean and his hacks. A platform is supposed to showcase the principles to which our party is committed. The whole proceeding yesterday was a rubber stamping of the deals, not the IDEALS. The Voting Rights section is vague and ambiguous; much like Dean’s selectee. I am saddened, but not surprised. They stomped on Democracy once again.