As most people know, Michigan and Florida decided to have their primaries early. This was apparently in violation of the rules laid down by the Democratic party-rules that the Democrats in these two states knew about. The response of the party was to simply not count the votes and to not allow the elected delegates to be seated at the national convention.
As with American politics, there are two sides to this matter.
The first is that the Democrats in Michigan and Florida are getting what they deserve (disclaimer-I live in Florida). After all, they agreed to the rules and then chose to knowingly violate them. As such, they forfeited their rights. To use an analogy: imagine a track meet where it has been agreed each team has been set to compete in the 1500 meter race in distinct heats. Suppose that the teams from Michigan and Florida have been slated to run at 4:00 pm. At the meeting before the meet, everyone is told that teams racing outside their time will not be scored and all the coaches agree to this. But, the teams from Michigan and Florida decide to just go and run their race at 8:00 am. Naturally enough, their results will not be scored because they did not run when they agreed to do so. They can complain, but the obvious reply is that if they had such a serious problem with the time, then they should have worked it out beforehand rather than simply doing what they wanted. The same could be said about the Democrats in Florida and Michigan.
The second is that voting is more serious than a track race (well, maybe). The voters are entitled to have their votes count and to participate in the democratic process (limited as it is). To deny Florida and Michigan voters their representation because some party leaders decided to just disregard the rules seems to be both unfair and unjust. As such, the voters in these states should have their votes count. To take away their voice would be to treat them as criminals who need to be punished for their misdeeds.
This raises questions about what should be done in regard to the specifics. In Michigan, Obama was not even on the ballot-hence if the voting was not done over, she would win in an unfair manner. Thus, Michigan should re-vote if their votes are going to count. In the case of Florida, both Obama and Clinton were on the ballot, but neither candidate campaigned here. Some argue that since Obama was less well known than Clinton, she had an unfair advantage under this rule. They contend that if Obama had been able to campaign in Florida, then he would have fared better. As such, the vote should be re-done in Florida as well.
Such events are not cheap and there is the question of who should pay for the re-vote. My thought is that the people who decided to break the rules should fork over the money-after all, it is their fault. Then again, the rank and file Democrats who were well aware of what would happen, should have taken action as well-perhaps demanding that the events take place in accord with the agreed upon rules. Or perhaps Al Gore could donate some money in the name of democracy.