Reading the local and national papers, see that Florida has decided to change the date to January 29th for the primaries. All that is left to be done is have Governor Charlie Crist sign off on the bill to finalize this move.
I have seen various blogs wringing their hands over this (e.g. see Chris Bowers at myDD here and here), suggesting this is a Republican power-grab since the Republican Party would be “in control” of a major “swing state” in effecting the outcome of the political process. For me, I am still in favor for a number of reasons:
- Florida Democrats will, in time, reassert their muscle over the entire state as the National Party begins to spend more time there. As in Iowa and New Hampshire, the residents of those states take the decision of selecting a President very seriously. And, as one notes, more contemplative the effort, the more likely Democratic it becomes.
- Florida is known as a microcosm of the United States – almost every major population center in the US is represented in Florida. Retirees and their relatives all tend to move into Florida and settle in the general areas. IMHO, within ten years, it will be Florida – not Ohio – that will be the “canary in the coal mine” as to who will be elected President.
- Florida’s influence will exceed its “ATM status” – as a Florida resident, I have been dismayed and hurt at how the Federal government has shortchanged Florida residents in areas of infrastructure, school funding, economic support. As a native Floridian, I want to see the government make some structural changes that will be needed, especially with the growth of population and the potential for dangers in the coming years (read: hurricanes). By being one of the important bell-weather states, the Federal government will be required to truly focus and deliver on their promises to the state.
And, for the harbingers of doom, maybe Michigan will move their primary up as well. So be it. This process has been stacked so poorly against truly making a statement before, we will have to see change happen to address status quo.
While I may not have voted for you, Governor Crist – you have my support for signing this bill.
By the way….did anyone notice that Florida legislators voted out the “touch-screen” voting machines? Way to go legislators!!!