As reported in The Saratogian, August 3, 2019, more members of the Saratoga Democratic Committee have resigned over Saratoga’s Commissioner of Finance primary outcome. This action prompts the following opinion piece…
What is the purpose of a political party committee? Doesn’t a political party committee provide local presence for the political party at large? What is the relationship between a political party and the voters? Isn’t the purpose of a political party to give voters a choice of candidate and to advocate for that candidate? Isn’t the fundamental responsibility of a party, and its local representatives, to act in the best interest of the voters, by providing them with candidates that the voters will find superior to any other party?
How does a political party go about finding the best possible candidates? Don’t they in effect ask the voters, via the primary process, to select the best possible candidate? Aren’t they stewards of the people’s will, as they offer alternative primary candidates, so the voters can decide? If they offer only one primary candidate, with no alternatives, to the voters, aren’t they effectively taking the voters out of the selection process?
And if the voters, via the petition process, offer additional primary candidates can’t this be seen as a rebuke to the political committee? Shouldn’t the political committee members feel embarrassed that the voters, rather than the committee, need to search for alternative primary candidates? And if the voters choose a different candidate from the only candidate offered by the political committee, what does that say to the committee? How should the committee respond to direction given by the voters?
In Saratoga, members the Democratic Committee have resigned, because they reject the will of the voters as expressed by the primary election. They did not resign because they felt shame over the fact that the voters did their job for them or that they were unable to provide a candidate that was acceptable to a majority of voters. This was not an honorable resignation. They resigned because they refused to accept the stated choice of the voters.
By their action, the Democratic Committee members have clearly shown that they are not the representatives of the people. Instead, their expectation seems to be that the voters should have mindlessly followed their direction. Faced with children that did not play the game by their rules, they are taking their toys and going home. Contrary to their public statements, this action has little to do with qualifications – the incumbent, whom they support, has a background in library science. This action also has little to do with choosing “the welfare of the City over party.” Their resignations have everything to do with power, favors, influence, and financial benefit. Bon voyage – they have removed themselves from influence on Saratoga’s future. There is now an opportunity for the Democratic Committee to rebuild itself into an organization that focuses on what the people, not the insiders, want.