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Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Governance is a tricky concept.  It implies that something will get done, some form of 'leadership' will guide something in a functional and productive direction.  But how does it work?  I mean how do you make something truly function?  How does a group of people or situation get 'governed'?  Think about it in political terms, it would seem that we would be talking about anything from local to national or international politics, and finding a way to productively facilitate and manage a smooth running 'government'.

Looking at local politics in the US I have one quick observation to make.  People have to want to be 'governed', and they have to actually know what being that actually is.  Wanting to be governed would imply that one is willing to accept the system they live in, and be willing to trust in it and give themselves to it.  If a person does not realize how democracy (and the mandate for leadership/the institution of policies it creates) exists, and that with this mandate comes a legitimate ability to do certain things, then how is an individual to understand why or how other aspects of governance will function?

With an election in a representative democracy, a new mandate is given by the people to the elected individual to represent them throughout the governance process.   They elect her/him given the platform and 'promises' promoted during the campaign.  In our system in the US it is a simple majority that takes all.  We do not live in a parliamentary system where a proportional number of 'seats' go to the proportional percentage of votes received.  Flat out 50.000000000001% takes the seat and the loser goes home.  This winner can then say that the majority of the people supported their campaign platform and thus they should try to institute it to the best of their ability.

So why would anyone be at odds with a person with this mandate trying to institute there democratically given authority?  It would seem only because they don't know what democracy is really about.  And unfortunately most people don't really understand this.  They get caught in a world seen through blinded eyes.  This is so truly sad.  Just to simply open our eyes and ears to see and hear the things around us, would allow us to learn so many new things, to think about different options, and even to understand how it is that these things could actually have come about or brought into place.  Governance is about a leader finding a way to make things work, and a person about finding a way to let themselves be lead.  Even if we didn't vote for, and don't want to be lead by, the person leading us that is the system we live in.  If you want a more representative democracy, change the system, if you want a more direct democracy, change the system.  Right now I struggle to find much of either in the US system.

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