Thursday, January 22, 2015

#22 / Groups Of Five

Our right to vote is really important, and our right to vote needs to be protected and expanded, but voting, while necessary, is not sufficient to make self-government work. Our representative form of government will work correctly only if we, the represented, are actually in contact, in some tangible way, with the elected officials we have chosen to represent us. We need to be "in touch" with our representatives, and I would like to suggest that this means that we need to be in a position where we could actually touch them physically. 

If I am right that personal involvement is a prerequisite for a healthy politics, and I am pretty sure I am, then going to meetings is actually a requirement to pass the course in democratic self-government. 

And courses in democracy aren't given online. Online participation won't do it. Sending off an email blast just isn't going to fulfill course expectations. Nothing wrong with the emails and the petitions, but you actually have to GO TO THE MEETINGS if you are serious about affecting the actions of government. You actually have to talk directly to your representatives, in person. 

I was one of those elected representatives, for a long time, and I am telling you, from my personal experience, that our in-person engagement with elected officials is what it takes to make democracy work.

Democracy is also not best advanced by individualistic gadflies. It's a team sport. If you care about anything within the realm of the political world I suggest a "Group of Five."

Five committed persons is the minimum requirement, I think, for effective political organizing.

Think about it.

It's lots of fun.

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1 comment:

  1. You're right that in-person participation (public hearings, etc.) carries a lot of weight in government. However, it's not only a numbers game. When it comes to decision making, the quantity of bodies present is less important than the quality of their collective argument. Yes, showing up is a powerful part of democracy. Just don't show up uninformed or you might end up hurting the cause.


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