It’s not my intention to claim that NY state politics are any worse than any other state’s.
Personally, I find the Pittings about local politics to be far more interesting than the ones about national politics. Among other things, the stories I see here about small, local issues are often the only way I’ll hear about such things. Without sex or truly spectacular malfeasance involved, such things rarely garner attention outside of their local jurisdictions.
I also think that anyone the common focus on national level politics is short-sighted, and dangerous. We’ve all heard of people who will only vote during Presidential election cycles, because they’ve gotten the idea into their heads (Often with a lot of help from friends, and the media) that only national elections matter. On the contrary, ISTM that local politics is the incubator for the issues that become national issues. And one person’s voice is far more effective at being heard on a local level than on the national.
People complain about how their vote will never affect national elections. I don’t agree with this thinking, but I understand it. But it is possible for grass-roots efforts to have huge effects on local politics. A local lobbying campaign shifting as few as a few hundred votes may well be enough to change who will be going to the State or County legislature.
I want to get people excited about local politics. I want as many people as possible to get off their duffs and vote. Even if I disagree with them, if they’re involved, I believe I have more chance to convince them of my positions if they’re already considering voting, than if they’ve decided through apathy and disgust that nothing can change.
As for who has the worst state government… honestly? I couldn’t care less. I don’t doubt that there are many other bad state governments. I believe that if more people thought about the numbers involved they might realize that they’ve got more chance of affecting change on the local level than they do on the national. On the one hand, this could be called a form of provincialism. I don’t think it is - I think it’s pragmatism: People would be better served if they could spend their efforts on those issues where individual efforts are more likely to be effective than on the larger, and so-called meatier, issues.
To that end, Airman Doors, I’d love to have you open a Pit thread about Bonusgate. I’d love to see fifty, or more, Pit threads about the various idiocies, calumnies and scandals in all local political scenes, than to see yet another Pitting of Sarah Palin, John McCain, Barack Obama, or Joe Biden.
Such threads will be frustrating to see, and often infuriating. But I’d also take them as a hopeful sign, too. People getting involved in their local politics and making their voices heard.
Apathy and passivity are part of what lets situations like the NYS Legislative mess continue. Until the populace sits up and takes a stand, even if it’s a stand I disagree with, I don’t believe anything fundamental is going to change. In NYS it will take an electorate that is willing to make local sacrifices to see that change occur.
The various legislative leaders here in NYS, yesterday, announced that they plan to postpone following the Governor’s call to further cut the State’s budget, in spite of the projected multi-billion dollar shortfall in revenues, until after the elections. Which is a formula for harsher cuts, later, to make up for the lost time.
Whether this will prove acceptable to the NYS electorate, I couldn’t say. Based on past experience, I’d guess it will. But I intend to do my bit to make this idiocy come back and bite as many local politicians as I may affect.
I may be tilting at windmills. But I’d rather be doing that than sitting in a corner, sipping coffee while things just keep getting worse.