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GettingThingsChanged

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Sour Grapes and Saddle Sores

George Hirst

Getting Things changed for January 26, 2006

There was a time when running for political office meant "throwing your hat in the ring." After that, articles were placed in the media and posters were put up. If it was for a national office, you found persons across the nation to help get the word out. It is different now.

There are specialists in campaigning who arrange publication of articles, place TV and radio ads. Party and public support is needed and funds have to be secured to meet the cost of the effort. While that isn’t the worst thing in the effort, the fund raising has become an effort it itself and individuals have become professional fund raisers.

Recently what amounts to a national scandal, using the funds for things other than the cost of the campaign has come to light. Elected officials of every variety have been found to be involved and all of them are distancing themselves from those persons and those funds.

Added to this matter, is the practice of office holders holding fund raisers as part of their duties while in office. That has raised another problem, the re-election of incumbents year after year.One thing I am certain of and that is that if any changes are to be they must look forward. There is no sense to going back to something that doesn't fit into what the world is like today. Our knowledge of our humanity is different from what we were like as close as five years ago. We need to live with those changes. The way government works today needs to be a part of the behaviors and thoughts of the 21st century.

For example: One of the Republican candidates says do things "for a change". There are questions I would ask of that person. The 1000 people he employed, was the wage scale minimum wage or better? What about health insurance? What about retirement benefits? The Fortune 500 rating doesn't mean anything to an ordinary person. That usually means it made money for the owner. What about sharing the wealth? One thing more, for a lot of us who care for people living with disasters like hurricanes and people who live below the poverty line is at the center of our thoughts. Governmental actions must reflect the thinking of the general public.

How do we get a problem changed? Dale Bennet in our Wednesday meeting said that you get changes by finding something else to put in its place. I have been wondering what the public can do about changing the issues around campaign funds, limiting the time a person can hold an office, and how we recruit persons to run for office.

I understand a public referendum needs to be held. That, then, needs to be done by people outside governmental structure. Who and where are such persons? How do we go about it? Is it really worth the effort? I guess that if we are going to change this problem a group of us needs to get together and talk about it. I know that I am not in a position to do any of the above. My limits are talking about it and supporting persons who do know how we do this.

I plan that for the rest of the time between now and the elections both in the spring and in the fall to see what I can do to be informed about candidates that look good for making changes. I suspect that most of them will be persons who have not run for office. Nasty question: "How do we get the plutocrats and the aristocracy out of office?"

SourGrapesAndSaddleSores

Created by KKris. Last Modification: Saturday 09 of September, 2006 21:38:29 UTC by KKris.