The Democratic Party of Florida could cease to exist if a proposed Senate bill gets approved.
Filed by Republican Senator Blaise Ingoglia, SB 1248, also known as “The Ultimate Cancel Act,” would require the Florida Division of Elections to “immediately cancel to filings of a political party, to include its registration and approved status as a political party, if the party’s platform has previously advocated for, or been in support of, slavery or involuntary servitude,” according to Wesh 2 News.
Although the bill does not mention the Democratic Party specifically, the party would fall under its umbrella as Democrats supported slavery in the mid 1800s. However, the Democratic Party has not held this position or supported such policies since after their platform was readjusted following the Civil War.
The premise of this bill very obviously targets the Democratic Party, making it quite controversial as many question if the bill is a “publicity stunt,” as stated by the Florida Democratic Party, or even another act against diversity, something Florida’s Republican-controlled Legislature has made an effort toward under Gov Ron DeSantis’ leadership.
Skyler Hillery, a fourth-year political science student at Florida A&M University, says the bill is conflicting and lacks awareness of both past and present acts of slavery from both parties.
“This act is contradictory to the fact that America was built on slavery and, regardless of the affiliation of a politician, during that time at least one of the politicians from each political party had an enslaved person, maid, or indentured servant,” Hillery said. “Also, throughout American history there have been other forms of slavery under new names that are supported by Republicans and conservatives like chain gangs in jails, privatization of incarceration, get tough on crime reform and so on.”
Shortly after filing the bill earlier this month, Senator Ingoglia defended it, according to Spectrum News 13, explaining that it would be “hypocritical not to cancel the Democrat Party,” as “leftist activists have been trying to ‘cancel’ people and companies for things they have said or done in the past.”
If the bill is approved, it would require that the canceled parties are made aware of their new position, or lack thereof, automatically re-registering them as having no party affiliation to which they will then have to update their voter registration to an active political party.
Hillery explained that this act would affect Florida’s Democratic voters as well as many other political precedents to come.
“In my opinion, this is a tactic to disenfranchise the party and Democratic voters. This bill would have a trickle effect of disrupting precedents in politics and millions of Florida registered Democrats would not be able to vote when another election comes if this bill is passed,” Hillery said.