Last week during the Republican National Convention, a voice vote was taken on the floor to amend the platform that caused a stir among Republicans for it’s outcome.
Speaker Boehner’s assessment of the “yeas” and “nays” was, some would say, clearly skewed.
As it turns out, the Democrats are not immune from this exact behavior.
Today, at the Democratic National Convention, convention chairman and mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa had a Boehner-esque performance.
Former Governor of Ohio Ted Strickland proposed two amendments to the Democratic Party platform, which read as follows:
Page 32, Line 48: We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to amke the most of their god-given potential.
Page 63, Line 26: Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.
Mr. Villaraigosa informed the audience that the vote must pass with a two-thirds majority in order to be enacted. Upon taking the voice vote, it was clear that there was some uncertainty on the results, as the chairman began to give his ruling, then balked by saying, “In the opinion of the… let me do that again.”
After taking the voice vote a second time, with a smiliar reaction from the delegates, he had a moment of stammering, then turned to someone – presumably a party official or a “referee”, or sorts – who walked up to Mr. Villaraigosa and said “you’ve got to rule, and then you’ve got to let them do what they’re going to do. Rule.”
Then the voice vote was taken for a third time. In what sounded like an equal ‘Aye’ and ‘Nay’ vote, Villaraigosa proclaimed his ruling by stating, “In the opinion of the chair, two-thirds have voted in the affirmative.”
This was followed by a mild course of booing from the sparse crowd in attendance.
This year, it appears that both parties have the intention of adjusting the rules and platform regardless of the wishes of the people and delegates who make up the parties.