Wednesday, June 09, 2004
More Exposure for No Confidence Movement
I have also found what I believe to be the first other blogger talking about the No Confidence movement. See The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. Simon seems to generally favor the plan. Some of his comments warrant response and so indented segments below represent excerpts of Simon's writing.
"Personally I've grown tired of government's adamance that the only way to proceed is to just fix infractions of the law instead of trying to solve the systemic problems that cause those laws to be broken over and over again."
Yes, we must address root causes or continue to subject ourselves to futile efforts at change. The state of affairs in the US cannot be repaired with any one simple reform.
"At first glance the resolution looks like a simple appeal to express discontent with the ability of the government to accurately and fairly asses the will of its people...However as you get to the bottom of the "whereas" list you find...a much more substantial resolution" [includes reference to final resolve clause of the No Confidence resolution] "...Initially I felt like adding such a finale to a call to reform voting was somewhat disingenuous. While I am certainly in favour of all the suggested remedies - making voting a day a holiday seemed a particularly inspired celebration of peoples soveriengty [sic] - I didn't think it would help the cause to get reform by asking for abolotion [sic] of the government itself."
There are several important things to note here.
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul appears to be a stenographer's account of the inner dialog in Simon's head. He wonders whether to support the No Confidence movement and if a cure to systemic problems can arise without completely replacing the system. But, he eventually realizes, the No Confidence movement is "an expression of a lack of faith in the system to heal itself voluntarily." This is a powerful realization, opening the door to recognizing the problems identified are not unintended consequences of leaders who can't clean up their own mess. We are confronting the myths of democracy and capitalism in America, illusions maintained at all costs by people in power.
In his conclusion, Simon cites the "one problem" he'd like addressed in the No Confidence resolution, requesting explanations for the suggested remedies in the form of more "whereas" clauses. It is certainly reasonable to seek justification for these proposed reforms: "The benefits of such things should be self evident but are clearly not and should be cited in support for the final reoslution [sic]. Otherwise they look like those pesky "riders" that get added to government bills at the last minute that have nothing to do with the original topic."
There are three aspects to my response. First, the resolution has been written in the language customary for the Arcata City Council. Councilmembers will have a chance to make any changes they want before voting. I doubt they will want more "whereas" clauses, especially given point #2: as mentioned above, this resolution is meant to be a trigger mechanism for a domino effect and relies heavily on strategizing the means to reach a tipping point, an end which will be much, much more like a new beginning. Finally, while elements may not appear self evident, they are couched in a context of "implement[ing] a new democracy in America which encourages competition in "the free market-place of ideas."" Perhaps the olive branch I can offer to Simon is embedding more links so this final passage can more readily educate readers.
On a related note, on Wednesday I spoke with Arcata City Councilman Dave Meserve about the protocol and timing for introducing resolutions. I was advised to submit the resolution with a cover letter to each of the Councilmembers next Monday. I can then use the "Open Communication" segment of the Council's agenda next Wednesday to formally and publicly request that the measure be added to the agenda for the following meeting, scheduled for July 7.