|The government is the biggest employer in the world. They hire and maintain more employees than any other organization in history. |
The question is whether the elected officials (who are really employees of every person in their jurisdiction, voted into office to represent the concerns of the voter) and the employees of the government are accountable to the same standards and common practices that all other workers are. This is food for thought.
When you contact any government office, are you prepared to receive an autorespond answer thanking you for your time and input but then never hear from them again? Do you picture that wastebasket file drawer just under the e-mail printer ready to accept any and all messages? Is this something you can take with you to the polling place when the important time comes to pick and choose those that you want to represent you and what you would like to see the nation, your state, or your local government achieve? Most emphatically, yes.
If any government official (elected or just hired) does not offer the common courtesy of an answer to questions and concerns, then there is always someone in the wing who is also capable and would appreciate the general public enough to offer them this small token of value. Too busy-too many requests? In this type of position, it comes with the territory. It is part of the job-description, and no voter should ever be given a pat-automatic response that everyone knows leads to nowhere but to that inevitable file drawer just beneath the computer printer.
Accountability seems to grow less and less in those who become too comfortable in their positions and feel that they are unbeatable and in permanent employment. As there is no work security in the private sector, may those in public office also remember that there is no job security in government either.
So, what is the proper way of handling the current trend toward non-accountability and machine answered "thank-you" notes? Basically, it is studying the candidates as people. Cross over party lines if a certain candidate does not possess the values and innate ability to take his job with all the attachments and demands on time and ability. Each candidate should be voted upon individually, as to how they will perform and what their particular attributes are. If each voter took this criteria to the voting booth, our government would be stronger and more intuned to the only requirement of each and every government office - "For the people, by the people..."
Can you imagine what our country could do if our government officials and employees were truly accountable to those who elected them or actually give them a pay envelope? In no uncertain terms, each citizen should be the priority and main concern, and then they can schedule their hectic appointments and meetings around this very basic job-related requirement. Also voters would not feel so taken advantage of when the limos, airplanes, travel amenities, and other "perks" come into play.
This election time, vote for the person and who he/she is and what they truly stand for, and not which party they belong to, who they know, or who someone else tells you to vote for. You are alone behind that curtain in the voting booth, so let your conscience be looking over your shoulder.
©Arleen M.Kaptur 2002 August
About the Author
Arleen M. Kaptur has written numerous articles, booklets, fiction/non-fiction books
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