George Graham

The Puzzling Behavior of Some House Democrats

NOTE: Webmaster Xavier Murphy will be upgrading the Word Press Blog software this weekend. So this is the last blog for a few days.

It’s hard to be a responsible voter in America. There are only two real political parties to choose from, and the party label apparently doesn’t mean much. In Jamaica, Britain or Canada, you know that if a candidate belongs to a certain party, that candidate can be expected to support the party platform. In America, the party label guarantees nothing.

Take the current confusion over the health care bill before the House of Representatives in Washington.

nancyThe $940 billion bill could come up for a vote in the House as early as Sunday. And Speaker Nancy Pelosi (photo at right) is scrambling to round up 216 yes votes to get it passed.

On the Republican side of the House, there is no doubt: All 199 Republican members will vote no.

But that’s not the way it works with Democrats. With 235 Democrats elected in 2008, you might think the bill would pass easily.  But several House members who ran as Democrats are threatening to vote against the bill. And some of these politicians will run again as Democrats. This is very confusing to me.

When I vote for a candidate with a D next to his or her name, I expect that candidate to support the Democratic Party platform.

I cannot understand why Democrats nominate candidates who do not support the party’s platform. A candidate who does not agree with the Democratic Party’s goals is not a Democrat. It should be as simple as that.

For the bill’s highlights, click:

And for an update on the way House members (possibly including your representative) are likely to vote, click:

You might want to take your representative’s vote into consideration when you go to the polls in your next Democratic Party primary.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for