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Thread: A Political Pattern

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    A Political Pattern

    I’m curious if anyone else has seen this pattern. It seems that the local Right-To-Life lobby/special interest group has been sending a steady flow of candidates to fill vacancies on various city boards (parks, zoning appeals, planning commission, cable advisory, etc). Normally the city has difficulty finding folks to fill these positions. But this powerful (at least locally) lobby typically sends two or three bodies for every opening. On occasion one of them manages to get appointed (and yes they have even managed to get bodies into area city councils to facilitate the appointments of their ‘own’). This would not be so bad but for the fact that these people appear to say little, ask few questions, have great difficulty stifling their yawns while serving on these boards and generally demonstrate little or no interest in the board’s actual function. It would seem they are doing little more than ‘serving time’ as volunteers on a local board so as to establish some sort of credentials so as to position themselves to run for election to the next rung of public office. I imagine their aim is to eventually get someone into a position where they can influence policy on their pet issue of abortion. The ingenuity behind the right-to-lifer’s strategy I find praiseworthy, however, I find the idea of prepackaging one-issue candidates for public office abhorrent.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Let me guess, Newt Gingrich is forming the “New Republican” party?

    How do you know that these people are RTL?
    There is no such thing as failure, only learning experiences. However, it is our choice to learn the lesson and change or not.

  3. #3
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    How do you know that these people are RTL?
    Cuz on the app. forms they list the name of the local RTL group for the question "Please list any volunteer experience you have"
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  4. #4
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Cuz on the app. forms they list the name of the local RTL group for the question "Please list any volunteer experience you have"
    Ouch...
    Are the pink bunnies talking to you again?
    There is no such thing as failure, only learning experiences. However, it is our choice to learn the lesson and change or not.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian gicarto's avatar
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    I see it as a great thing from an administrator's point of view. When these single issue people serve they will act as a rubber stamp to what the administrator wants. I don't have a lot of faith in elected officials anyway and the more they don't fight with me the better.
    Trying to get my grubby hands on as much stimulus money as I can.:D

  6. #6
    Do you need any more evidence that democracy is a completely senseless system?

  7. #7
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jaws View post
    Do you need any more evidence that democracy is a completely senseless system?
    As I see it....
    Special interest groups = bathwater
    Democracy = baby

    or to paraphrase Winston Churchill "democracy is the worst form of government ever devised...except for all the others."
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    As I see it....
    Special interest groups = bathwater
    Democracy = baby

    or to paraphrase Winston Churchill "democracy is the worst form of government ever devised...except for all the others."
    I see it backwards... democracy is the bathwater and the lobby groups are pissing in it.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    As I see it....
    Special interest groups = bathwater
    Democracy = baby

    or to paraphrase Winston Churchill "democracy is the worst form of government ever devised...except for all the others."
    As I see it
    Special interest groups = not democracy
    Maister deciding how things should work = democracy

    Winston Churchill was a murderous maniac. I wouldn't quote him on anything.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jaws View post
    Do you need any more evidence that democracy is a completely senseless system?
    Do we need any more evidence that you have no idea as to what you’re talking about... ever?
    Moderator note:
    It would be one thing if you were to make such a comment to me where it would be generally understood to be good-natured joking, it's quite another, though, to do so with a user where you have no established jocular rapport. Feel free to point out faults in jaws arguments, but refrain from personal attacks
    Last edited by Maister; 29 Dec 2006 at 12:35 PM. Reason: Maister letting Mskis know he's crossing a line
    There is no such thing as failure, only learning experiences. However, it is our choice to learn the lesson and change or not.

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Do we need any more evidence that you have no idea as to what you’re talking about... ever?

    I think that there are several of us in there who are a little tired of your constant anti democracy rants or comments. We all realize that the system is far from perfect but your constant and persistent comments continue to derail what could be very meaningful discussions. Please Stop.

    Ditto! Ditto! Ditto! Thanks.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  12. #12
    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Do we need any more evidence that you have no idea as to what you’re talking about... ever?

    I think that there are several of us in there who are a little tired of your constant anti democracy rants or comments. We all realize that the system is far from perfect but your constant and persistent comments continue to derail what could be very meaningful discussions. Please Stop.
    I would like to remind you that I'm not the one who started this discussion, Maister did. I would like to remind you that no solution was offered, because none exist. Pressure groups are fundamentally a part of the democratic process. Love them or leave it.

    If you complain about pressure groups, you are ranting against democracy, not me. I've already made my peace with it all.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian gicarto's avatar
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    Democracy is necessary

    Despite my earlier comment that ignorant politicians are good for an administrator, democracy provides a check and balance if the administrator is way off course. Democracy is necessary but it is wise to be advised by professionals.
    Trying to get my grubby hands on as much stimulus money as I can.:D

  14. #14
    Cyburbian GISgal's avatar
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    Why yes Maister I have seen this happen. This is only in one particluar municipality though.

    Not a political interest party, but a staff lynching party. They regularly send two or three bodies to open positions and will find others to go against incumbents. They portend to be Reagonmics believers, but in reality are trying very hard to oust the assessor. The main leader had an assessment judgement go against him and now his goal in life is to rid the world of that one assessor. It has been going steady for about three years now. Persistent bugger. But I think it is well within their rights to do this and give them much kudos for trying to get their points across in what has for the last three years been a minority position on this municipalities board.
    “I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.” - Thomas Edison

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Do we need any more evidence that you have no idea as to what you’re talking about... ever?

    Quote Originally posted by jaws
    Do you need any more evidence that democracy is a completely senseless system??
    Hey you two, play nice.
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    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  16. #16
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by otterpop View post
    Ditto! Ditto! Ditto! Thanks.
    Not a problem good sir. Enough is enough.

    As for the topic at hand, I think that from time to time a particular organized group will gain political ground based on getting members elected from grass roots campaigns. These groups are based around a social, religious, or corporate issue. Tobacco Companies, Oil Companies, Evangelical Churches, and even we hate Wal-Mart groups have all been successful at this.

    I would not worry too much about it… well unless someone is trying to put an abortion clinic someplace here.
    There is no such thing as failure, only learning experiences. However, it is our choice to learn the lesson and change or not.

  17. #17
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jaws View post
    If you complain about pressure groups, you are ranting against democracy, not me. I've already made my peace with it all.
    jaws, you seem to be operating under the belief or assumption that if someone points out an existing or potential problem it necessarily means the entire system is inherently unworkable and must be discarded. Most folks here, however, take a more pragmatic view and understand that any system of decision making (or even lack thereof) contains it's own virtues and flaws. Indeed any advantages a particular system offers necessarily carries it's own inherent disadvantages - for instance a dictatorship certainly offers the advantage of greater efficiency in governance but can only do so at the expense of other considerations (say, personal freedoms for example).

    The material/energy within any system is universally finite (and yes this applies to the constructs of social models too) and any expenditure in one area can only come at the expense of that energy allocation being made availble to some other part; it's a cosmic law, dude.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  18. #18
    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    jaws, you seem to be operating under the belief or assumption that if someone points out an existing or potential problem it necessarily means the entire system is inherently unworkable and must be discarded. Most folks here, however, take a more pragmatic view and understand that any system of decision making (or even lack thereof) contains it's own virtues and flaws. Indeed any advantages a particular system offers necessarily carries it's own inherent disadvantages - for instance a dictatorship certainly offers the advantage of greater efficiency in governance but can only do so at the expense of other considerations (say, personal freedoms for example).
    Here's the problem you continue to dodge: there is no way to "fix" the "flaw" that you perceive in the system while still continuing to operate in a democratic manner. You are attacking democracy itself when you claim that the will of the people is not accurately represented by its elected officers. I personally don't have a problem with that, because I already know it is true. My problem is your claim that you can keep the baby of democracy while throwing out all the unpleasant consequences of democracy, as so defined by you. That is no longer democracy. You are rigging the system to get the result that you want.

    What you are arguing for is a dictatorship by you. Enough with all the pretense of defending democracy.

  19. #19
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jaws
    Here's the problem you continue to dodge: there is no way to "fix" the "flaw" that you perceive in the system
    Dodging? Well please allow me to clear up any misconceptions you may be entertaining. I didn’t say the system itself was the problem – you may very well be interpreting what I said as such but read the OP once again and you’ll find I never said that. What I said was abhorrent to me was that RTL was producing one-issue candidates. This is not the same thing as a broad condemnation of the system itself (i.e. the existence of special interest groups themselves is not the problem and like I said I have to admire/concede how effectively RTL uses the system)
    Quote Originally posted by jaws
    while still continuing to operate in a democratic manner. You are attacking democracy itself when you claim that the will of the people is not accurately represented by its elected officers. I personally don't have a problem with that, because I already know it is true. My problem is your claim that you can keep the baby of democracy while throwing out all the unpleasant consequences of democracy, as so defined by you. That is no longer democracy. You are rigging the system to get the result that you want.

    What you are arguing for is a dictatorship by you. Enough with all the pretense of defending democracy.
    My posting the RTL rant here IS working towards ‘fixing’ the problem and is the very embodiment of democratic principles, to boot. I’m not at all sure what you mean by ‘rigging’ the system, but what I will admit to doing here is attempting to sway public opinion and that the folks reading my post will turn their sentiments against RTL (sure I may have tried to make it sound like RTL was acting unethically or seeking some unfair advantage - but hey, that's the essence of swaying hearts and minds). If that’s ‘dictatorship by me’ then I guess you can call me Benito Mussolini Maister.

    The participants in democracy understand and accept the premise that they’ll ‘win’ sometimes and ‘lose’ others. It’s the reason that despite all their loud kvetching you didn’t see millions of liberals moving to Canada after Bush won his reelection bid in 2004 and haven't seen millions of conservatives packing their bags after the 2006 election.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  20. #20
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    As requested in the yellow card, let me address why I think that your comments are delusional and in need of some serious revision. (Not attacking you, but instead your ideas on this topic)
    Quote Originally posted by jaws View post
    Here's the problem you continue to dodge: there is no way to "fix" the "flaw" that you perceive in the system while still continuing to operate in a democratic manner.
    There are no systems that have ever existed that are without flaws. Democracy has less flaws because they are able to be fixed without a complete destruction and recreation of the government. In fact every time there is a vote, protest, or discussion, the system is constantly modifying its self. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not. Overall, it still is the only system that I would want in this country.

    Quote Originally posted by jaws View post
    You are attacking democracy itself when you claim that the will of the people is not accurately represented by its elected officers. I personally don't have a problem with that, because I already know it is true. My problem is your claim that you can keep the baby of democracy while throwing out all the unpleasant consequences of democracy, as so defined by you. That is no longer democracy. You are rigging the system to get the result that you want.
    Every time someone is voted out of office, the bad stuff is tossed out. Sometimes, what we get instead is not all that great and can also cause problems. However the structure of the system its self does not change. Any person with a voice and the ability to communicate and idea that has merit and can be commonly held by the masses has the ability to inflict change in who is represented and the choices that are made. The structure of the system does not change, but the choices that the elected person makes at any point could be different than previous decisions made by the an elected person from the same position.

    Someone who does not agree with the RTL people have the same opportunities as the RTL people, that is what makes Democracy so great and far superior to any privatized system that you have suggested.
    There is no such thing as failure, only learning experiences. However, it is our choice to learn the lesson and change or not.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    My posting the RTL rant here IS working towards ‘fixing’ the problem and is the very embodiment of democratic principles, to boot. I’m not at all sure what you mean by ‘rigging’ the system, but what I will admit to doing here is attempting to sway public opinion and that the folks reading my post will turn their sentiments against RTL (sure I may have tried to make it sound like RTL was acting unethically or seeking some unfair advantage - but hey, that's the essence of swaying hearts and minds). If that’s ‘dictatorship by me’ then I guess you can call me Benito Mussolini Maister.
    That's just nonsensical, since nobody here votes at the local level where your RTL candidates are taking seats.
    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Someone who does not agree with the RTL people have the same opportunities as the RTL people, that is what makes Democracy so great and far superior to any privatized system that you have suggested.
    The RTL people are taking offices where no other candidates present themselves. This has nothing to do with disagreements since no one can be bothered to run against them.

    The very fact that the office exists is stupid, and it only exists because of democracy.

  22. #22
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jaws View post
    That's just nonsensical, since nobody here votes at the local level where your RTL candidates are taking seats.
    .
    If I were doing nothing more than addressing local people about the local situation you'd be right in saying that's nonsensical. As it is, though, I'm addressing hundreds of people directly involved in local governments throughout the country (and other countries). Returning to the OP, I have the suspicion that what I'm witnessing here locally is part of a pattern and is probably occurring elsewhere and may even represent a national strategy for RTL. So yes I do think it's possible that what I say here may have actually have some impact elsewhere, given the readership's general intelligence, education levels, and the venue.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    Back to the topic at hand

    It has been a pattern used by christian fundamentalists for some time. They put their people up for all the boards they can, eventually getting "experience" and majorities on various boards. I think the goal is to position people to take over school boards (to do away with "the theory" of evolution and impose the god-given truth of creationism) and zoning commissions (to be sure to approve mga-churches), etc.

    It's a clever plan, actually, and one that all left-thinking Americans would do well to emulate.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    If I were doing nothing more than addressing local people about the local situation you'd be right in saying that's nonsensical. As it is, though, I'm addressing hundreds of people directly involved in local governments throughout the country (and other countries). Returning to the OP, I have the suspicion that what I'm witnessing here locally is part of a pattern and is probably occurring elsewhere and may even represent a national strategy for RTL. So yes I do think it's possible that what I say here may have actually have some impact elsewhere, given the readership's general intelligence, education levels, and the venue.
    But not, unfortunately, its voting weight. Whatever it is you're trying to do, it implies reforming the electoral system, which means you are taking a stance against democracy.

    It doesn't make you an evil man.

  25. #25
    Gee I'm out visting the in-laws for a week, do a quick drop in, and this is what I come back to . Jaws rambling on about something and people egging him on. Back on topic, as with most boards and commissions, just getting people to serve is a miracle. It's also been been my experience that personal religious/political don't show up in the actual hearings. Most of the people I've served with pretty much stay on topic during the hearings.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

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