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Observation – the 3rd Responsibility of Citizenship, Part 5

Popularity 2Viewed 1028 times 2017-4-10 01:02 |System category:Life| citizen, apathy, government, bureaucracy, single

If there are two things that can be the bane of any form of government, or two of the leading causes for its destruction, they are citizen apathy and government bureaucracy.  It does not matter if the government type is a democracy, a republic, a people’s republic, an oligarchy, a monarchy, or a simply a “strongman” – if the day to day operations are too confusing, and citizens no longer fell bothered to participate/interact – then that government that is supposed to serve is going to fail in the long term.  Signs of failure will evident in many ways, with some being the most ‘mundane’ levels – such as conditions of roads and sewage systems - to more ‘esoteric’ levels – such as public libraries.  However, it is issues of crime and property damage usually will convince citizens if there leadership is truly worthy of their support or not.  These have been the thoughts in my mind these last few months I have attempted to participate in the local election process for the Village of Hinsdale – where positions of power that will dictate how the local schools, fire department, police, and other services (like the local library) are to be funded and managed.  For all intents and purposes the local level politics here in affluent suburban Chicago-land area have in common with the Beijing and Havana than what is being practiced in Washington D.C. – with single parties running unopposed for positions that the general public usually pays scant attention to.

 

Case in point:  It is nearly a week since the April 7th elections for the Hinsdale Library Board, and there is no word if we (Hinsdale Caucus or the Village of Hinsdale) actually have gotten all four Hinsdale Caucus candidates confirmed.  As I stated in my previous article about this subject, going into the April 4th election, one of the candidates did not get the perquisite paperwork filled correctly in time to both the DuPage and Cook County Election Boards (because the Village of Hinsdale resides in both counties, like New York City).  Worse, they were not able to file in the time the correct paperwork to be considered as a “Write-In Candidate” for the DuPage County Election Commission.  So on election day, there were more than a few confusing questions at the polls on the DuPage County side of Hinsdale – with warnings to people not to “fill out” a 4th spot on their ballots, unless they invalidate the entire thing.  On the Cook County side of Hinsdale, there were a couple of folks reporting back to the Hinsdale Caucus that there was a “Write In” slot – but no visual confirmations were given.  Mind you, the overall turnout for registered voters was less than 20% for both Cook and DuPage Counties – which assured that our 4th candidate was probably going to be elected with less than 400 voters for a village than has a population of about 17,000 (according to the 2010 U.S. Census).

 

Mind you, neither county have declared their election results “official”, but it was the plan to have all four people take up their new positions later this month.  While these four candidates are not looking to take over with a series of major decisions looming (building improvements, staff pay, etc.), they will still be managing an entity that has a staff of about 40 to 50 Part Time and Full Time employees and has an annual budget in the $3 million range.  Those millions of dollars are gained in property taxes from Hinsdale homeowners, who are not looking forward any issues that may cause an increase in taxes for services that may or may not use.  Then again, given the apathetic attitudes, it is most likely that some citizens are just going to “vote with their feet” and leave for ‘greener pastures’.

When people are paying attention enough to care - this diagram explains their citizenship.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report HailChina! 2017-4-11 22:00
I disagree. It is best when citizens are happy enough to not pay attention to government/politicians.
Reply Report Liononthehunt 2017-4-12 12:46
Mr. Greenspan once claimed in his biography to the effect that democracy merely served as an outlet for ordinary people to vent their sense of frustration, while it was the career bureaucrats like senior officers from CIA, FED, who virtually run the country.
Reply Report tradervic 2017-5-8 00:46
HailChina!: I disagree. It is best when citizens are happy enough to not pay attention to government/politicians.
Hm... taking the "As Long As the Trams Run On Time" stance that Mussolini was credited for saying?
Reply Report tradervic 2017-5-8 00:47
Liononthehunt: Mr. Greenspan once claimed in his biography to the effect that democracy merely served as an outlet for ordinary people to vent their sense of frustra ...
Hm... care to cite page and paragraph on that quote?
Reply Report Liononthehunt 2017-5-8 09:16
I  will, though it may take some time, because it is a thick tome. Or you can find it for yourself, the title of the book is "The Age of Turbulence"
Reply Report HailChina! 2017-5-8 09:49
tradervic: Hm... taking the "As Long As the Trams Run On Time" stance that Mussolini was credited for saying?
No, like how it was in the 90s before USA invaded the middle east - and then 9/11 and war on terror - and then GFC. Do elites really believe things are easier for them now? That they are more secure? If they do then elites are bigger retards than I thought. You think you are clever but I can tell you are a massive retard minion.
Reply Report tradervic 2017-5-12 21:04
Liononthehunt: I  will, though it may take some time, because it is a thick tome. Or you can find it for yourself, the title of the book is "The Age of Turbulen ...
Please do - because I took a look at the online version (http://www.e-reading.club/bookreader.php/133618/The_Age_of_Turbulence.pdf) and did not find it with a search on the word 'ordinary'
Reply Report tradervic 2017-5-12 21:06
HailChina!: No, like how it was in the 90s before USA invaded the middle east - and then 9/11 and war on terror - and then GFC. Do elites really believe things ar ...
{smile}  Did I touch a nerve with that Mussolini quote?

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