Saturday, August 12, 2006

How can we judge elected representatives?

"Political tags-such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth-are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire."
- Robert A Heinlein, US writer (1907-1988)

Many would dispute this generality, but it certainly qualifies as one way to avoid common labels while attaching a broader label to anyone.

As clever as Heinlein's quotation is, I doubt its value as a tool for identifying people according to their basic human qualities.

I would tend more toward saying that humanity may be divided politically into those who want to help people in need and those who would rather ignore them and take advantage of those with little or no power.

In politics, big numbers can make anything seem "right." Some would argue that any measure could be deemed to be "right" in a democracy if a majority of people vote in favour of it.

To those people I would note that Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party (later known as the Nazi Party) won a majority of votes in a democratic election in Germany in 1933.

I would argue that how a person votes on any one issue is not important, though how that person votes on a variety of similar issues might have relevance to their suitability as a voter.

In almost every vote in a legislature, the issue could be approached according to whether it helps or harms people. True, fiscal responsibility plays a role where money must be spent.

However, if a bill will gives advantage to industries while ultimately making people suffer (such as through environmental pollution or unhealthy working conditions), it can be deemed to take advantage of people rather than helping them.

This, too, could be argued to fudge the whole issue of political decisions. Especially by those who would choose to allow industries to take advantage of or take precedence over people.

A democratically elected government that is by the people and for the people should put the best interests of people first, not business.

People live, become ill or injured, have personal and family problems, have their health fail, then die. Business lives on.

People care about people. Business, in general, cares only about profit.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to put people first.
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