Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Power We Give People

...and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

I wish I could write something as insightful as that. Lincoln's address at Gettysburg after that great Civil War battle has lasted through the ages for a reason. Its a basic statement about the amazing government that was set up by a handful of men who desired to control their own destinies without an overbearing government getting in the way. On the national scale, its an easier statement to apply than on the local scale though.

The local scope is the place that we have our closest relationship to any type of government, outside of our own homes. In our instance, it is a Village Council; in others, its Township Trusteeship, or even Community Elders. In each case though, the representative body is elected by the larger electorate (and for the purposes of this post, the larger electorate shall be referred to as "us").

It has never been intended that our government be a case of "them" against "us". We are vital to the process of selecting people to serve in governmental positions. Those people whom we elect to those positions are responsible for each decision that they make while representing us. I have the right to look at each person on Village Council and ask myself, "Do I want Marko Polo representing me and my ideas?" I must take into account past decisions that have been made by incumbents and guage them against the decisions that other candidates say that they would make and vote accordingly. (I'll mention in passing that this is one of the reasons why I personally was put off by the decision to select Jim Moore as Village Council President. While Village Council does have the right to select someone to fill a vacant seat, my preference would have been to leave the seat open until the next scheduled election date and let the voters decide. But that's all the past, nothing we can do now but look to the future.) These people whom we have selected therefore must hear the words of the voters, as I've mentioned before in the Levy And Conscience post.

If you are disappointed in something, get involved. Don't allow yourself to become cynical and think that you don't have any say in the process. A lot of white haired guys a couple hundred years ago would have been frightened by that attitude. Millions of men have died to protect that right that you would consider squandering. These people are those to whom you've given power.

And you can take it away too.

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