There is not much worse than the feeling that, as far as what’s being discussed or voted on by your local representative, you do not have a voice. This happens to citizens on a regular basis.
What is blatantly obvious and ridiculous is the ability for politicians to present so many amendments, proposals, and bills under one title, when they are really about something else entirely. Even someone who keeps tabs on what’s happening can often not tell the subject matter up for vote.
Here’s a prime example from North Carolina I read recently.
Not only are elected officials presenting a piece of legislature with a title that does not relate to what they are really voting on, but they’ve “massaged” the open time frame and changed requirements for members of the public who may wish to comment before the vote.
There is also a lot of malarkey in this article proving it is a habit of elected officials to post notices of what they’re discussing at a time when there will be less chance of notice, and nearly no time for the public to respond or comment.
Congress does this not only to its citizen public, but to each other.
The George W. Bush administration apparently presented the “Patriot Act” in about its 10th rendition, out to senators for review somewhere around midnight of the day it was to be voted on – leaving little time for most to even read it before their vote was expected. Remembering that documents supporting these initiatives can have pages that run to the thousands, this guarantees politicians will be voting “for” or “against” something they haven’t even read. If they skim-read it, we know what tends to happen when they overlook all that fine print…
In a brief moment of sympathy for politicians, imagine your constituents finding out that you didn’t vote on something they felt was important. What they didn’t know and will never understand is that just maybe you didn’t vote because you hadn’t been given time to read what you were supposed to vote on.
I am really sick and tired of the total waste of time and money in the entire political process. I am thoroughly pissed off that my ability to even have input to what is being decided on is purposefully denied. I am tired of wading through overly-complicated discussions on what politicians are really doing. They should all be required to stick to short sentences, grouped and read in 5 minutes or less. If they prepare a document for a vote, they should have to do what Writing 101 classes teach – be able to fit your thesis all on one page.
These are good reasons why so many are suspicious of their governments. These are good reasons why governments are doing such a poor job. Buried and hiding behind their own inefficiencies creates the exact environment we, the public are living in right now. Over-complicating basic issues with information overload makes people mentally numb, but not dead.
You can run, and you can hide, but we are going to keep attempting to find the “Why?”