mousemusings...multimedia, music, progressive politics, video, web design and general rants
Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
~Kurt Vonnegut
Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Whose Side Are You On?

First, we heard that William “Bill” Jefferson, a Democratic member of the House, was under investigation for accepting a bribe. Then we heard that the FBI raided his congressional office. Then we heard that the Democratic house leader, Nancy Pelosi, asked Jefferson to resign from the House Ways & Means committee. Then we heard that Pelosi has issued a joint statement, along with the Republican Speaker, Dennis Hastert, denouncing the FBI raid. They asked that the FBI return the material seized in the raid. Now we hear that Hastert himself is under investigation. Meanwhile, Jefferson has refused Pelosi's request, and the FBI has refused to return the documents.

Thus, we see highlighted a number of loyalty issues. In the Party loyal to a member who may have committed a crime? Is Congress more loyal to itself, such that they'll band together against the Administration? Is Hastert really sticking up for Congress, on principle, or is he trying to save his own hide? Does Pelosi have something to hide, herself? Are there any good guys in this flick, are are they all crooks?

This could be an interesting election in November. My worry is that, with all these scandals, the US voting public could end up getting so upset that they don't go out and vote. Some people get the idea that there is so much corruption, that it does not matter who they vote for. How do I know that some people sometimes get that idea? I know because sometimes I get that idea myself.

The problem with not voting, is that if moderates and independently-minded persons do not vote, it makes it much easier for political machines to take over.

In order to correct the problem with corruption, we first need to get over the silly notion that our American political system is the best there is. Once we acknowledge that the system is seriously flawed, then we can make a serious effort to fix it.

What is going to be most important is for us to take steps to get away from the entrenched two-party system. That means instant runoff voting, proportional representation, and bipartisan redistricting. It means getting rid of the K-Street project. Perhaps we should take a cue from Australia, where voting is mandatory.

Personally, I would like to see legislation that demands that all contact between lobbyists and congresspersons take place in an open forum, with recordings and transcripts being freely available. No exceptions. Persons running for political office need to understand that they are going to live in a fishbowl for the duration of their term.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link | | |


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