TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new bill filed in the Florida State Senate by a Republican legislator would ban the state's Democratic Party from existence, dissolving the voter registration of Florida's 4.8 million registered Democrats. The legislation, championed by Blaise Ingoglia, is titled 'The Ultimate Cancel Act'.
The bill's text states it would "immediately cancel the 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". The text refers to the iteration of the Democratic Party during the Civil War, when it advocated for the institution of slavery and opposed abolition efforts.
Many political commentators have characterized the bill as a work of satire, criticizing the cultural phenomenon of 'cancel culture' in which activists work to change the way historical figures with ties to civil rights abuses are viewed in the present day. Others have decried it as a move toward fascism, with Ingoglia potentially seeking to destroy the party most ideologically opposed to his own.
Either way, experts agree the chances of SB 1248, as the bill is officially known, passing the legislature and the courts are extremely slim. Ingoglia seemed to stress the point the bill was making, saying: "For years now, leftist activists have been trying to 'cancel' people and companies for things they have said or done in the past. This includes the removal of statues and memorials, and the renaming of buildings. Using this standard, it would be hypocritical not to cancel the Democrat Party itself for the same reason."
In the unlikely and hypothetical event the bill were to take effect, it would effectively ensure likely Republican control of the state government for decades to come.
The Florida Democratic Party, predictably upset, called SB 1248 'unconstitutional and unserious'. They accused Governor Ron DeSantis of sanctioning a political publicity stunt and prioritizing frivolous issues over crises such as housing and climate.
Prior to this legislative push, Ingoglia was a long-serving member of state Republican leadership. He became Vice Chair of the state GOP in 2011, and later the Chair from 2015 to 2019. Ingoglia served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2014 to 2022, when he was term-limited. He was elected to his first term in the State Senate in November.