Thursday, September 15, 2005

And the Winner Is...

I'm sure it will come as no surprise to most, but, according to an article in the Guardian Unlimited, the majority of people don't trust politicians. It doesn't seem to matter where a person lives or what specific form of government one is talking about. When various occupations are ranked, politicians fare the worst.
Most people believe their government does not act according to their wishes, a worldwide opinion survey shows. Lack of confidence in governments is highest in the former Soviet bloc, where 75% say their country is not governed by the will of the people, but similar views are held by most Europeans (64%) and North Americans (60%).
As with a lot of things in life, this result offers some good news and some bad news.

The good news -- particularly in today's neo-con America -- is that, maybe, the general public is starting to wake up to smell the coffee. If enough people become so fed up with the shannigans in the halls of Washington, D.C., the majority of state legislatures and quite a few county and city governments, maybe the day will soon come when being an incumbent is more a liability than a sure-fire guarantee of victory.

Maybe we can finally begin the process to develop and PASS true electoral reform, including getting big money out of politics altogether. According to an article in today's Christian Science Monitor, many sociologists believe we are on the cusp of transcending the Left-Right divide.
How will current US social and political trends - amid the rise of the right - affect the world in the decades ahead? Surprisingly, some sociologists say that they augur for curbing the excesses of national power and capitalist markets while strengthening the UN and other forms of global governance. Though it sounds counterintuitive in an age of corporate globalization and US unilateralism, there is evidence of powerful social forces stirring that could do just that.
But before we get all excited, we need to look at the bad news. If politicians are so distrusted by the majority of the populace, what rational person would want to become a first-time political candidate? Why would any of us voluntarily seek to subject ourselves to negative campaigns and mudslinging? Why would any sane person want to spend all their free time trying to raise the egregious amount of money needed to run a viable campaign?

As has been witnessed over the past two campaign cycles in many city, county and legislative races, the answer is painfully obvious. Very few people have shown an interest in attempting to join the ranks of distrusted politicians.

In essence, we progressive-minded citizens find ourselves in a classic catch-22 situation. We want to change the face of political campaigns to emphasize substance over fluff and public needs over special interests, yet to have the opportunity to accomplish this, we must enter an arena which is all about fluff, negativity, AND special interest influence/money.

It's a terrible dilemma, but one we MUST transcend...somehow.

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