On Prop 6
Maybe someone did us a favor
Forget about the new international bridge crossing costing, or NOT costing us a dime as the arguments are made. Forget about traffic numbers being 45% of their once peak, or the other side's arguing for relief from backups that slow down economic activity. Take away those arguments about whether 'infrastructure' should be owned by private enterprise, or whether its appropriate to destroy a business to correct the situation.
And just plain abandon those arguments for, or against, Ford's ability to import Chinese transmissions through the newest NAFTA super highway component.
All of those arguments have legitimate standing. They also have placed good folks in opposition to other good folks argumentatively, frustrating conversation outcomes, and in fact causing minor political realignments. Perhaps causing a rift within the Michigan Republican party itself. Perhaps because some Republicans would not follow the lead of a moderate governor who decided to make his Democrat predecessor's goal his own.
Politics is indeed a game of give and take. Building on goodwill, an elected leader can do much to move a personal agenda, but is limited to the prevailing common sense provided by greater numbers in leadership and historical precedent. There will be certain things that even the most skilled politicos will not be able to accomplish, as they are sufficiently questionable or in opposition to the values and principles of governing majorities. There are some areas of 'principle', or simply hardened resolve that cannot be breached, no matter the personality or politics involved.
A politician who recognizes his or her limits within THOSE rules, will concentrate on efforts to maximize in areas of agreement, and use developed goodwill to work on the marginal things outside of those areas. In some cases quid pro quo, and alternately, with others brokering for their own advantages.
But our governor has no use for that system.
Continued below the fold.
Rick Snyder is not a politician, but rather a manipulator of the rules for his own advantage.
It seems he has done it before in his dealings with government, his marriage of business interest and government, and his latest attempt to abuse government's rule over the people, through a technicality that will satisfy his whim of a 'great work', and payback to a non boot-licking petulant private enterprise, which has at some point or another procured for itself, the governor's ire. (or whatever it is called)
The International Bridge Company ought not be anything but self serving in its attempt to maintain a monopoly of sorts at the crossing now used between the states and Canada. It might even be seen as a manipulator of its own with the commercials that can cause SOME to cry foul. But that doesn't take away from the fact that they are doing the citizens of Michigan a great service.
Matty Moroun and his company are providing yet ONE MORE check on unaccountable power. They are providing the option for Michiganders to say "oh no you don't" to a non-political politician that won't take NO for an answer. They are in fact doing the legislature a favor with a slap down of an overly zealous plan by the governor to build a bridge no matter what that particular legislature says.
If prop 6 passes, they are giving the legislature BACK its power to represent the will of the people.
Its a good thing too. Folks are hopping mad. Mad that an obscure technical gimmick using authority statute would be the tool of a governor spurned by his legislative attempt to get the new bridge built. Today I spoke to a bridge SUPPORTER who was incensed at his decision to go behind the voters' backs in this 'non-political' manner. She said "it was not the way she would like to see it passed." and "its too bad we have to vote on this". Indeed.
Her concerns should not be taken lightly. Just because someone might agree on the destination, doesn't mean that they agree on using Machiavelli as a guide to get there.
If the legislature had agreed to the bridge on its own, it would be a fair question of whether this initiative would even exist. It would represent a futile attempt to override the representative will of the voters, and might likely be defeated. But the legislature did NOT agree to it, and Snyder's effort to override that will, albeit bizarre, is not altogether surprising.
Or at least serve as a warning to future abuses of it.
Though the International Bridge company is footing the bill for the entire prop 6 messaging series, it is the state's citizens that will benefit. It is a chance for the checks and balances provided for in our state constitution and the ballot process that keeps the power of the people in the hands of the people, and not ROGUE singular executive office holders.
Its been said here before, that prop 6 did not have to be a ballot issue.
But perhaps it might as well be Rick Snyder we should thank for the opportunity to see it there.
On Prop 6 | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden)
On Prop 6 | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden)
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