ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Dick Palmer: Serious lesson to be learned from election

Unless the ceiling falls in, George W. Bush will become the 43rd president of the United States. Like it or not, this decision was ultimately decided by the United States Supreme Court, and this writer is deeply concerned and actually alarmed wit...

Unless the ceiling falls in, George W. Bush will become the 43rd president of the United States. Like it or not, this decision was ultimately decided by the United States Supreme Court, and this writer is deeply concerned and actually alarmed with the process that was marred by politics.
The basic composition of government in the United States is composed of three parts, executive, legislative and judicial, not only at the federal level, but at the state and lower governmental entities as well. Following the recent national elections, however, the judicial branch of government became the major player for the wrong reasons.
One concept that is too often overlooked is the purpose of government in the first place. Government, at all levels, is a service component commissioned to work for the people, not command them as all knowing and all-powerful. Government is established to provide leadership backed up by legal guidelines initiated by elected officials (the Legislature). The third part of this equation is the judicial branch that interprets these laws and provides an opportunity to contest the laws through an organized process called the courts.
Our biggest disappointment with the Florida ballot fiasco is the fact that the Secretary of State was following established state law. Her decision was ultimately advanced to the highest court in the land, the United States Supreme Court, and was decided along party lines. Those decisions, both by the Florida and U. S. Supreme Courts, were flawed and certainly seemed to usurp our logical process of self-government.
We have to step back for a moment and review the process that has just taken place. Election law procedures were established by the Florida Legislature. Legislators introduced the guidelines by which Florida conducts its own election process. These rules were debated and passed in both the Florida House of Representatives, the Senate and signed by a governor. The rules became the law of the state.
Following the election on Nov. 7, the process was taken over by the courts. A District Court judge ruled that the election process was conducted within state law, and that, too, was challenged. The Florida Supreme Court took over, and, on its own, proceeded to change the rules in favor of challenger Al Gore. This blatant act of misdirection ultimately became a charge for the U.S. Supreme Court, and it ruled against Gore politically rather than logically according to established law.
The lesson in all this is obvious. Democrats, particularly biased, national news commentators, say Republicans tried to stop the counting of votes, In reality, it was established state law that was the real question, pure and simple.
Election laws cannot be changed after the fact, and the next session of the Legislature can address this in open public debate.
Dick Palmer is the former editor and publisher of the Budgeteer News. He may be reached by telephone at 729-6470 or by e-mail at RPalmer341@aol.com .

What To Read Next
The system crashed earlier this month, grounding flights across the U.S.