Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

A platform is defined as a declaration of the principles upon which a person, a sect, or a party proposes to stand; a declared policy or system. The Republican Party has a platform. It is compiled every four years and voted on at the national convention. The platform is a large document divided into various categories and states the position of the Republican Party on most major issues of the day.

Where does the Republican Party get their platform? It all starts at the precinct level- the grassroots. Resolutions are presented by registered Republicans at their precinct meetings and those resolutions are then voted on at the County, State, and National convention, with discussion and debate along the way. Ultimately those resolutions, if approved, make their way into the Party platform and provide a formal statement of the basic principles, objectives and official positions of Republicans on major issues.

Because the platform resolution process starts at the grassroots level, it can often get contentious. It’s not uncommon to see tempers flare when issues are discussed or debated, but as Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. “ It can be a tenuous process, but in years past, several resolutions first presented in Stephens County, Oklahoma have ultimately made their way into the national GOP platform.

On Saturday March 5th, the Stephens County Republican Party will hold our county convention. It will convene at 10am at the Stephens County Fairgrounds. Registration will begin at 9am. There is a $10 delegate fee. The main order of business will be election of the Stephens County Republican Party officials- County Chairman, Vice Chairman, State Committeeman and Committeewoman and District Committeeman and Committeewoman. The terms for these offices are two years and the only qualification is to be a registered Republican within the county.

The second order of business will be the determination of how the Stephens County GOP will be seated as a delegation at the State GOP convention. The state convention will be held May 7th in OKC. Stephens County has twenty (20) delegates to the State Convention. If the SCGOP votes to be seated as an “Open” delegation, any registered Republican in Stephens county can be credentialed and vote at the state convention.

The third order of business will be consideration of platform resolutions. Those submitted by precincts will be considered as well as resolutions presented by individuals from the floor. If you are a registered Republican and are passionate about something you want included in the national GOP platform, here is your chance. Put it down on paper, bring it Saturday and present it to the convention.

In recent years, our county convention has been held at night. This year, our local Party voted to revert back to a Saturday morning format. It allows our statewide and federal elected officials more opportunity to participate in the process. Fourth district U.S. Congressman Tom Cole will address the convention immediately after we convene on Saturday morning and Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones will keynote the convention later in the morning. We plan to adjourn by noon.

If you are a registered ‘R’ and have been waiting for an invitation to get involved in your government- here it is: All registered Republicans are encouraged to show up Saturday! You shouldn’t come simply because you like Party politics or because you don’t have something to do, but because the future of our country is at stake and the only way to make a difference is to get involved.

Grassroots politics is the only politics that will leave long term lasting change in government. When common or ordinary people lock arms and unite around a cause, the results are amazing. Start your grassroots participation by attending Saturday. It will be an investment in good government you will not regret.

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