The observations of a 50 something with lots of experience in politics, government, life and learning.

Sunday, August 28, 2005


...when you're sitting on the beach in Eastham?

I know I haven't posted in a VERY long time. But HELLO! Do you think I started this blog so I could have YET SOMETHING ELSE to feel guilty about? I mean, this is like my answering machine at home. I ONLY LISTEN TO THE MESSAGES WHEN I FEEL LIKE IT...ITS NOT FOR THE CALLERS' CONVENIENCE, IT'S FOR MINE! So this blog is for when I want to say something and not like I have an editor breathing down my neck saying "Your column is due!"

That having been said, I want to thank the people who tell me they actually READ this thing. It's a great privilege to be someone that you use your valuable time to check in with. And I want to respect and honor that.

But I did wonder what I should write about seeing as how I was at a cottage pumping my own water and getting back to nature by improvising showers and using dishwater to flush the toilet with. (You think I'm making this up? I'm not.) But it was gorgeous and relaxing and I was privileged to be there. But it does make one ask "How are you going to get revved up enough about something to write about?"

I mean, it's not like you want to hear "How I spent my summer vacation..."

And then Cos (and I'm sorry but I've forgotten the name of his blog) very appropriately pointed out some things about the special state senate election that's being held Tuesday that got my blood going. So it just shows to go ya...

He pointed out that Pat Jehlen, the individual that MargePAC is supporting, is in favor of nonpartisan redistricting and same day registration and a lot of other "clean elections" kind of legislation. I had been getting discouraged because she was not endorsed by the Globe and I thought maybe I had been too hasty in supporting her. But when Cos pointed out these differences with one of her opponents (and perhaps all of them) I revitalized the courage of my convictions.


Oh, and please, don't start with "but that's the way the people have control. They can vote out the politicians but not the nonpartisan commission." Yeah, and how do I vote out the Billy Bulgers and the Finnerans the the Travs and the Sals? Give me a break. I'm not even saying Trav and Sal are bad people. But why have a special election on 30 August? Give me a BREAK!

Believe it or not, more than the war in Iraq, we should be concentrating on changing the way that electoral districts are drawn in this nation. In other countries, it's nonpartisan. Since ours are drawn for incumbents, not only is there VERY LOW TURNOVER in both the national and state legislature (I'm not expert enough to comment on any other jurisdiction than MA...) but it means that individuals run to the extreme in their party, since the primary is the only place they can potentially be beat. But of course if you're a good party member (and I consider myself to be one) you don't run against a sitting member of your own party unless s/he has done something egregious. And if the district is drawn for them, then the other party doesn't have a chance in hell.

So take that to the extreme. The House of Representatives is made up of M's of C who are extremely liberal or extremely conservative. So there's no compromise, no consensus, no meeting of the minds. And yet the average voter is a moderate on one side or the other.

Until we look this square in the face, we're condemned to decades of deadlock. (Title for a book?) Doesn't make me happy. What about you?

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