Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Last Shall Be the First

The beauty of a democracy is that an election does not suppress a point of view but just doesn’t give it a vote -- but all other rights to the representation of every viewpoint is still retained, and even enhanced oftentimes, because one is not limited by the constraints of office holding -- which is the requirement to do certain things in a certain way. One then becomes free from all the other concerns that might be a distraction to one’s focus. Being the elected official does not allow that kind of singlemindedness of purpose -- unless one is well-disposed in that way because of all the competing interests for one’s attention, and if that formative experience occurs too early in life, one can never achieve full maturity of developing their own unique views.

If one does develop their own unique perspectives, then whether one is an “elected” official or not, doesn’t make that big a difference in representing that distinctive point of view. That should be the realization of others who came in second in their races -- that they can still go ahead and do everything they can to represent informed judgment and opinion, despite not having a vote on the matter. There are a lot of other tasks a representative citizen can do.

That’s why I’ve never like the promises of people who say they will deliver a wonderful world only if elected. I think true leaders make it happen regardless of their office and station in life -- unlike the countless numbers of bureau(Demo)crats running around disclaiming that it is not their job, they will not get the credit, so why should they care?

So I think Paul Smith has a great idea in convening the assembly of alternative representatives from time to time, drawn from the ranks of the unsuccessful candidates of the previous election, but also quite possibly, the candidates of future elections as well. There should be that kind of a standing body of people ready and disposed to move in to whatever opportunities present themselves. How else do we prepare leaders of the future?

At these meetings are also some of the successful candidates of elections to share their wisdom and insights into the campaign process -- as well as habituate candidates to the idea that they belong in those ranks. That’s the best mentoring program there is -- in just being willing to show up for those meetings.

Success in anything, is mainly about the confidence in doing anything. -- while the unfortunate tactic in traditional and conventional education is to undermine that confidence. So one of the great problems brought out in the campaigns is this difficulty many have in communicating with others -- in a confident, non self-conscious manner -- that is particularly noticeable of those with an Island education.

Of course that is the wrong pedagogical tactic of highly centralized, depersonalized education still offered by a few backwater states as an enlightened approach -- rather than realizing it is the problem of education, that even courses in “high self-esteem” cannot fake. But real leaders in their communities, should continue to represent alternative viewpoints no matter what the election outcome. It doesn’t invalidate well thought out ideas worthy of being heard and discussed.