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Thread: Rant: local politcians use of the word Democracy

  1. #1
    Cyburbian gicarto's avatar
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    Rant: local politcians use of the word Democracy

    I just sat through a political forum where two candidates were touting how the new city manager form of government is not a democracy. These people just anger me to no end. When you ask them about their vision for the City, they tout democracy when in reality, they want to cut out all the programs that are finally helping the City move forward.
    Trying to get my grubby hands on as much stimulus money as I can.:D

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    Sounds soooooooo typical.... What City are you in?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by gicarto View post
    When you ask them about their vision for the City, they tout democracy when in reality, they want to cut out all the programs that are finally helping the City move forward.
    My experience has been that they really mean "Let's leave the tough decisions to the voters so we never have to be accountable" when they lean on democracy as the answer.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  4. #4
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    The only "true" democracies are the town hall meeting types in which all interested citizens get a say and a vote in every decision the town makes. But for many areas, this isn’t a realistic option, due to the vast sizes of many municipalities and the fact that most people just don’t have the time or know-how to be committed to running the town.

    Thus, people elect representatives to make decisions for the town on behalf of them and appoint a city manager to keep things running. It’s still a democracy though, because the trustees can fire the manager if he’s not doing things right, and the citizens can vote out the trustees if they’re not doing things right.

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    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Whenever I hear the manager/council form of government is not a democracy I follow a similar argument that IP makes. My response is "you are right it is not a democracy it is a republican form of government. Few are elected to make the decisions of the body politick and the day to day management is delegated to a CM. It is true at the state and federal level. We hire administrators to manage the day to day operations and implement the policy of the elected officials." If I really want to get on my soapbox I give examples of mundane government operations that no elected official wants to deal with.

    This healthy dose of education usually results in a grunt or a change in subject.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

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    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Well, I'm not sure about a true democracy, but what IP is suggesting is what you might term "pure democracy", or direct democracy. Here in the U.S., you'll actually see it in some states that have referendums.

    What most municipalities have is a representative democracy... with the City Administrator acting more like a company CEO.
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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mastiff View post
    What most municipalities have is a representative democracy... with the City Administrator acting more like a company CEO.
    This is true for most municipalities that came of age in the post-WWII era. However, there are still many cities that have a strong mayor form of government, in which there is no administrator per se.

  8. #8
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    This is true for most municipalities that came of age in the post-WWII era. However, there are still many cities that have a strong mayor form of government, in which there is no administrator per se.
    I think those are the ones I avoid when job hunting... Even if it's a good mayor, when he gets replaced, you might be replaced, too!
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