29 August 2007

Local politics & puppeteers


I may have been naive to much of the way the political world works. I once assumed if you had the credentials, the general public support, the vision and the integrity needed to serve in a public capacity, then, of course, you would have a shot in an election. I didn't factor into this the insatiable desire by political bosses to maintain so much control that they would actually, possibly, give up a win, just so they are certain they have a puppet in office. I think this is most evident in local municipal and county elections. At least it is here in my corner of the world.

Puppets are generally ignorant of the fact that they have strings attached; well, in all fairness, their heads are blocks of wood. What is so unfortunate, not for the puppet, but for the public, is that the political bosses don't care about the general well-being of the public. I'm not so sure they even care about planks in political party platforms.......it's more about whether or not their man has ideas-because if he has his own ideas, he won't be listening to them. Not good for them, because they want to have their influence (but without ever putting their name on the ballot).

So locally, when the public is voting for Joe Blow, they may very well be voting not for Joe, but for Tom, Dick and Harry. Tom, Dick and Harry have just their own interests at stake (they probably have cash, so protecting their cash is more important than anything else). This is the one pitfall of a democracy and our two party system. It is never the brightest and best or most qualified that rise to the top, but those who have no brains. Like the strawman.

Indiana isn't exempt from this kind of unfortunate elected representation. It is terribly prevalent in our city and county and most often rears its ugly head in primary elections where party bosses exercise the most control over their willingly ignorant party constituents. How do you wrestle control away from party bosses? Expose them for what they are? Form a third party? What would a third party in Indiana be called? the Hoosier party? the Wabashers? the party for advancing the cause of the average guy? And yes, I have a bit of an ax to grind.

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