What does a politician do?
A criticism I have heard a lot about this democracy 2.0 idea is in defense of politicians. The criticizers claim that politicians are good at one thing, decision making, therefore they should be allowed to make decisions for the community. They cite Giuliani’s successful reduction of crime in NYC, Lincoln and more than half of Congress at his time outlawing slavery against the common people’s wishes, and FDR saving America in the thirties. They claim that not all politician’s are going to be good, but that’s no reason to give decision making power to the retarded common folk who gorge themselves on fast-food, reality TV, and are barely literate. They claim that important stuff happens in Congress or even in their mayor’s office. There are meetings and the kind-hearted politicians persevere in order to protect their constituents from their power-hungry, villainous colleagues.
People seem to have a pretty vague idea of what politicians do after they win the campaign battle/race. Most of politics these days consists of running and getting re-elected. The people who donate campaign money will influence you the most. When was the last time you actually sat down and read through the public records you are provided with? It looks intimidating with all of the unnecessary legal jargon, but it’s really not that difficult to get through. I’m going to save you the trouble, but please, go ahead and look through these minutes yourselves.
I’m not going to post the highlights and try to cover up the good things politicians do. I’m just going to give a general sampling of the minutes from 2-26-2013 for Carrboro, NC:
-MODIFICATION OF AGREEMENT WITH EL CENTRO HISPANO FOR COMMUNITY OUTREACH SERVICES (increasing the amount of money given to a community outreach program)
-CONDITIONAL USE DISTRICT REZONING/CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR 201 NORTH GREENSBORO STREET (permitting a construction company to build a two story building at a particular address)
-PUBLIC HEARING TO AMEND STORMWATER VOLUME CONTROL PROVISIONS OF THE LAND USE ORDINANCE (changing the legally allowed amount of stormwater runoff allowed on a property in order to prevent erosion)
Here’s a sampling of the executive orders and proclamations executed by the current governor of North Carolina:
–SAFE DIGGING MONTH (the month of April 2013 is officially recognized as “safe digging month”)
–TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT SERVICE
(state departments and agencies must begin using the state-run temp agency instead of third party temp agencies to employ temporary workers)
–DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY (state and local government agencies must obey the plan outlined in the NC Emergency Operations plan, stores cannot jack up their prices in a declared emergency area, and a secretary must obtain from the US government reimbursement for executing the NC Emergency Operations plan)
Here’s a sampling of the bills being proposed in the senate:
–STOP ONLINE AMMUNITION SALES ACT OF 2013 (make it a criminal offense to sell ammo online; no punishment is specified)
–PANDEMIC AND ALL-HAZARDS PREPAREDNESS RE-AUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2013 (outlining the duties of the assistant secretary for emergency preparedness and response, outlining measures to improve bio-security, outlining the distribution of medical supplies in the case of a bio-emergency, and outlining plans to accelerate advanced medical research and development for countermeasures; it’s important to note that while there is some detailed information as to what to do in this bill, for the most part the specific products and procedures that are to be used will be explained by medical professionals at a later date)
–HURRICANE SANDY RELIEF BILL (increase the amount of tax-payer money in the National Flood Insurance fund by 10 billion USD)
–RESPONSIBLE HELIUM ADMINISTRATION AND STEWARDSHIP ACT (amend the Helium Act to complete the privatization of the Federal helium reserve in a competitive market fashion that ensures stability in the helium markets while protecting the interests of American taxpayers)
As you can see, some of this stuff is complicated, some of this stuff is not. In the democracy 2.0 system the complicated stuff would be explained by knowledgeable individuals and presumably the citizens proposing the legislation. Few will vote for what they don’t understand. For the really boring stuff, people will have to explain why voting on their boring legislation is necessary. Politician’s are just people, and most of them don’t really know what they’re doing. They’re just rich and charismatic. Why do they deserve power? Again, please consider going through your government’s legislation. Endure through the ridiculous legal jargon. It’s mostly reasonable stuff that anyone would agree with. You deserve to have a say in what happens with your money in the place where you live.