Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Changing the Face of Government

A “representative” is nothing more than the interface of government -- by which the citizens communicate to the government, and the government communicates to the citizens. So the primary skills necessary, really, are the ability to relate effectively -- and not merely seniority at relating poorly, disastrously, bureaucratically -- which accounts for the disgust and exasperation many people came to have about Hawaii politics (government) over the last twenty years.

Many years of experience doing a bad job, is not a high recommendation for a good job in a way that’s never been done before (well) -- and is really the objective of every human purpose and enterprise. All this gets lost in the usual diversions and distractions unto things that don’t matter -- conducted as though they did.

Seniority in itself is no value; it is what it was meant to imply -- a certain amount of experience and maybe even talent and ability at those tasks -- but that is not a substitute for actual talent and ability. Even unions don’t have to structure their value and reward system by seniority; it is entirely possible and permissible to structure their rewards according to talent and ability. In choosing to promote and defend the seniority system as the ultimate value, that is their most indefensible weakness and the target that undermines their value in the marketplace of the consumer-citizens.

Nobody argues that a person who is doing the best job possible should not be rewarded highly. What people cannot defend as well, is that those whose sole talent has been to stick around as long as possible without distinction as far as anybody can recall and detect, while even driving out the more talented, deserve to be highly rewarded for those “talents” and “abilities.”

That is the old style notion of leadership -- that all that is required to be the king, is to get to the top -- and beyond that, nothing more was expected, least of all -- these modern notions of “leadership.” The most modern of these, is that people should be enabled and empowered to lead (govern) themselves. As populations grow larger, more diverse and more individualized, we can’t have one group of people telling everybody else what to do and everybody obeying dutifully because that’s what they always did in the past -- and should consider no other options.

The other evening, while passing out my flyer, I encountered that face of fear for the first time -- of one fearing to even consider any other option but voting in the way they had been conditioned to vote -- rejecting all possibilities of any alternatives. It was as though that person felt that accepting a flyer of a different alternative and reality, was a “thought crime” punishable by whatever was their greatest nightmare.

By this, one can understand the fear of people living under tyrannical governments and arbitrary rule elsewhere. When I meet such people, I don’t try to convince them they have a choice -- and there is no crime in considering the alternatives, side by side, merit by merit -- as is their right in a free society. That is the constituency of the "other guy."

2 Comments:

At August 15, 2006 10:44 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Government of the people, for the people, by the people -- is the objective of representative government -- and not government by bureaucrats and self-proclaimed experts (technocrats)as their lifelong entitlement.

In the last century, there was a movement towards increasing specialization and compartmentalization of life (which didn't work out too well)-- which in this century, is being reversed, but people in Hawii are usually the last to hear of these cutting edge developments because the special interest groups (including the media) want to exploit this information first.

 
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