2.07.2011

Something is not right

You've probably heard about the leaked memo from Dan Demeritt, Governor LePage's spokesman. There are a lot of people upset by the prospect of the Governor "putting 11000 Maine bureaucrats to work electing Republicans." Ethical concerns aside, I have another reason to be upset about this.

This memo was written in December before LePage was even inaugurated. I understand the importance for a political party to think strategically (I should!) but considering the dire circumstances LePage has to deal with as governor of our state, it seems highly inappropriate to be thinking about the next election before you've even begun your responsibility as Governor. That's the job of the Steering Committees of the respective parties. This is irrefutable proof that a primary reason to seek election is for the sake of merely cementing your own party's power and not necessarily acting in the interests of the electorate.

You can't necessarily blame LePage (or Demeritt) personally. They have to do it to compete with Democrats who are probably just as guilty. That's the problem. Our electoral system and the friction between the two major parties is so wound up that future elections are all that's on their minds. Their decisions in the legislature (or Congress) aren't based on what is best for the state (or country) but rather what will get them reelected. Only by convenience do those objectives occasionally line up with similar legislative goals.

4 Intelligent Comment(s):

Abner said...

Amen (non-religiously). Well put.

Andrew Lovley said...

Thank you for directing attention to this problem, that is probably more pervasive than just specific to Lepage and Co. Any ideas for how this problem of prioritizing reelection can be addressed? Disincentivized?

Jeremy Corbally-Hammond said...

Off the top of my head: Term limits is one way to disincentivize individual politicians. Unfortunately there are a number of other pros and cons with that, though.

Abolition of political parties might be another. I haven't given it much thought, yet.

Bill said...

Amen (religiously too!) I agree.

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