Democratic government as devised by our forefathers aimed at the inclusion of all citizens and was based on equal representation and equal treatment.
To a great degree its structure imitated that from which it separated itself. If Washington had not been our first president, for example, perhaps precedent would have been set for electing the president as king for life.
As to equality, slavery was included in the constitution itself, in terms of counting slaves as a proportion of the population for purposes of representation And although one of my most favorite heroes Thomas Jefferson championed equity, he held slaves.
Democracy, for as good as it is in practice, and because it involves people and their desires may sometimes be thought not to quite reach the ideal. Perhaps nothing reaches its ideal.
Winston Churchill said that, “democracy is the worst form of government except for all the other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
I have all my life believed in it and have fought for country and democracy. I would do everything to bring it closer to the ideal. In fact that goal is among one of my main drives.
I am concerned about those things that work against democracy. Secrecy in government as I see it, is one of the greatest enemies of democracy And I've been trying to call attention to its undemocratic nature here on a local basis.
Recently I called for town meetings for Shorewood which would bring actual government closer to the people. They would bring up issues and even review actions that have been made or held secret. I believe that the people of Shorewood should engage in discussion as to the benefits of town meetings at a town meeting. I shall be stressing various means for more democratic government as time goes by.
Specifically closed door meetings should have more of a justifying basis than they presently have. The State specifications are too broad and we should increase the means for restricting meetings behind closed doors and more or less secret discussions among our elected representatives.
Town meetings might be a good solution and work in that direction and toward making our elected officials more representative of the view of the general citizenry, especially as our board members do not have constituencies nor do they have directives from even those who vote for them.
Today our elected representatives cannot publicly take on a particular view that they know represents a group, who voted for them because they don't know the view of those who voted for them. They don't know who voted for them.
Let's experiment by having one town meeting every two months on the Monday between the two Village Board meetings. A good time to start might be in mid-March of 2008, after our local election.