Opinion - Democracy Starts, Thrives When Practiced From The Ground Up

Democracy is most often the hardest nut to crack and for many, it leaves them wondering what true democracy really represents. For that ...

Democracy is most often the hardest nut to crack and for many, it leaves them wondering what true democracy really represents. For that very reason local body politics should do everything possible to preserve democracy. Allowing the constituency to exercise their own voice by voting is more than being right, it is their RIGHT.

From all accounts, Elk Grove took a brave stand and elected their own Mayor--the people spoke! Although not a real power differential, but at least a start to their own type of leadership. The next step in the journey will be to authorize that leader the responsibility to lead with powers and authority of a leader functioning as more than that of a figurehead -by altering their form of government - if they so choose.

More important, is that tantamount to the key to democracy all over the world, is the ability to hear directly from those that will be affected by the individual who will eventually represent them. The best way to do that is to allow the people to decide -VOTE.

Elections do that! Elections are important ways to alleviate many forms of DOUBT, FAVORITISM and SUSPICION. Elections eliminate power and control of a few and remind others of the importance of sovereignty -why ones government works FOR the people and why the people's voice is so critical. Yes, elections cost money, but it is always money well spent when it gives the voter the right to choose. And those who truly want to represent should not fear elections.

Local government has the greatest impact on an individual's safety and security, welfare and recreation. Local government most often decides how an individual or a family spends the money they make - they are in your pocketbook.

So, the long and the even longer of all of this is that government should NEVER decide who is best to represent the people, rather, the people should decide to retain their sovereignty by selecting their leader(s) -when citizen's give up one right, another right will follow! Take ALL the steps necessary, to offer democracy as the choice of the day, NO MATTER THE COSTS associated with the decision and you will find that the voices will speak loud and clear--Democracy will truly be in motion, there will be no question about that.

Remember politicians are voter's too and if allowed to take away the people's Right now, eventually it will leave little rights when they may want and need them.

Elections are a good thing...in fact they serve as a litmus of how strong a politician really is--when they don't FEAR what the people's choice will be. A brave government should never be afraid to let the people decide.

Submitted by P.E.A.R.L. -  PEARL is a Sacramento County advocacy group Promoting Ethical Accountable and Responsible Leadership.

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Anonymous said...

While it seems the City charter was originally intended to skirt the prevailing wage law for public contracts (remember we are business friendly, the heck with the unions!), I wonder if our fearless leaders now regret putting this elected mayor (and for only a two year term) and mayor gets to choose all board members on the ballot. The council vacancy replacement process by appointment with four members in a bitterly divided partisan environment is like playing tic tac toe. If you know how to do it right, it always ends up a tie!

Anonymous said...

Elder Statesman and former president Jimmy Carter recently said we have one of the worst election processes in the world right in the United States of America, and it’s almost entirely because of the excessive influx of money. He describes this as “financial corruption” which threatens our American democracy. I agree with Statesman Carter's opinion. Right here in Elk Grove two of our sitting council members ran unopposed this last election. Could it be the campaign war chests are intimidating? I know individuals living in their districts who would like to serve the community but choose not to because indeed it takes a great deal of money to run a viable campaign and they were not interested in endless fundraising. When I ran I chose as a platform campaign finance reform to bring to light the amounts of monies being spent on campaigning and I walked it by not accepting any donations. I wanted this addressed by our council. How about it? Limits don't necessarily "limit" free speech.

Connie said...

Conceivably, Elk Grove voters could find ourselves in this same predicament every two years. With what has transpired over the last few weeks, at the last council meeting, it is apparent that something is very broken. The voters put the new system in place and we must correct it.

A new question needs to be put on the ballot. Though the wording has yet to be vetted to make sure it is constitutionally correct in a general law city, the crux of the question is this: "If a sitting council member runs for mayor mid term, after declaring their candidacy, he or she must immediately announce their intent to vacant their current council seat, freeing that seat for same election."

Elk Grove voters will rise up when they understand we could be paying an extra $500,000 every two years. Others are strongly advocating for a special election, no matter what, saying they are being denied their rights under a democracy.

With a new law in place, every member of the city council would be duly elected even if only on the council for two years.

Anonymous said...

Not knowing whe "PEARL" is, I am a litte concerned about replying to an op-ed that isn't penned by a true identity. That being said, this person does have a true grasp on the founding fathers intent and hope for all future elections. Elections are scared. They are why over 5,000 Americans have died in this 10+ year war. This is why we fly our flag on Memorial Day. Do i WANT to spend the 500,000? NO
Do i BELIEVE it's the RIGHT thing to do?? Yes.

tbwbhcc said...

Anonymous 14 January, 2013 08:20, your comments, too, are well said and well taken and the essence of Democracy. The crux off the matter is whether any one really cares about what's right after they succeed in being elected or reelected to public office and there is where change really needs to start. We appreciate your opinion good, bad or indifferent, agree or disagree.

P.E.A.R.L, is a Sacramento County Advocacy Group who believes in political ethics, accountability, responsibility and leadership. P.E.A.R.L., continues to address concerns through the organizational acronym to ensure political ethics are being addressed.

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