View Full Version : Do state platforms generally have any real effect on elections?
06-30-2010, 12:26 AM
So I've been reading how both the Texas (PDF) (http://static.texastribune.org/media/documents/FINAL_2010_STATE_REPUBLICAN_PARTY_PLATFORM.pdf) and Montana (http://www.mtgop.org/platform.aspx) Republican party platforms call for the illegalization (or continued illegalization) of "homosexual acts." I thought about how repulsive that would be to many, even some conservatives.
Then I wondered: has a state party platform ever been particularly relevant to its candidate's chances in general? Or, to put it more in perspective for this particular forum, would it have any real effect in boosting or hurting GOP candidates in Texas and Montana?
06-30-2010, 06:30 PM
I doubt it. Candidates in America are independent entrepeneurs; the party label is just a label. (That should not be so, IMO, but that's another discussion.) If a Texas Pub candidate things homosexuality should be illegal -- or doesn't think so, but will gladly take that position to appeal to the base -- then he/she will simply say so without reference to the party platform.
Paul in Qatar
07-02-2010, 07:39 AM
Who writes these platforms? I am imagining retired school teachers who think they are impacting the political process.
07-02-2010, 05:21 PM
If there's anyone in Montana who's actually defining the Montana Republican party's real positions (as in getting laws passed and the like, as opposed to just talking heads), it would be Denny Rehberg, the state's lone Representative, and the only nationally-relevant Republican in Montana (our governor and both of our senators are currently Democrats). And the "Issues" section of his official site (http://rehberg.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=13§iontree=3,13) doesn't mention homosexuality at all, nor can I find "homosexual", "gay", "don't ask don't tell" or "family values" anywhere on his official site at all. So I think it's safe to say that if he is opposed to homosexuality, he at the very least doesn't put much of a priority on it.
07-30-2010, 11:19 PM
Apparently, the Iowa GOP has adopted the 13er's plank as part of their platform. This group want the original (proposed) 13th Amendment brought back into the Constitution.
"if any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honor" [from a] "foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen" [and] "shall be incapable of holding any office of trust."
The reason? Well, since Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize from the King of Sweden, he could be kicked out of office.
quick blurb about it. (http://pwtenny.newsvine.com/_news/2010/07/28/4773352-iowa-gop-supports-amendment-to-strip-obamas-citizenship-because-he-won-the-nobel-peace-prize)
07-31-2010, 10:56 AM
Wow, lots of luck with that. First of all, even if they did manage to get that through, it wouldn't affect Obama, since it says shall accept, and Obama's Peace Prize was before that time.
Second, if we somehow convolute the definition of "shall" to include the past tense, the group that would be by far hardest-hit by that would be veterans: When we go to war on behalf of some other country, that country generally awards a medal to all of our the soldiers who served there. So every single Vietnam veteran, every single Korean war veteran, every single Desert Shield/Storm veteran, and probably all the veterans of the current Iraq war, would be stripped of citizenship. Yeah, that's "supporting our troops", all right!
08-02-2010, 12:02 AM
Who writes these platforms? I am imagining retired school teachers who think they are impacting the political process.In Minnesota, the process works like this:
At Precinct Caucuses in each neighborhood (some 4,000 of them), people can propose resolutions, which are discussed and then voted on by the attendees. Those that pass go forward to the next level.
District or County Unit Conventions (about 80 across the state) receive the passed resolutions from their Precincts. After removing duplicates, they are voted on by the Delegates at the Convention (1,000-1,500 typically). The ones that pass go on to the State Convention. But each District Convention has a limit on the number that they can send, so sometimes those with the smallest vote don't make it.
Before the State Convention, the Platform Commission reviews the submitted resolutions, removing duplicates and items that are already in the Platform. (There is a section of basic principles that is the 'continuing platform' of the party; these stay from year to year).
At the State Convention, the State Delegates (about 1,400 people) vote on the ballot of Resolutions from the Platform Commission. The ones that pass are added to the Party Platform. There is also opportunity to remove items* from the continuing platform, or to add new ones.
So in Minnesota, the parts of the platform start at neighborhood meetings, and flow upward through various levels to the State Convention delegates.
* Removing items can be tough.
There was a plank in the platform that "Richard Nixon should be impeached and tried as a war criminal", which had been there since the late 1960's. About 10 years ago, about 30 years after Nixon had been exposed as a crook and chased out of office, and about a half-dozen years after he was dead & buried, there was a motion to remove that plank from the platform. It failed to pass. As many older delegates said, "dead or not, he should still be impeached & tried", and they carried the vote.
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