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Google Alert - open government

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Article Discusses the Tyrannies of Local Government

It is ironic that last night the City Council without any dissent, passed the City Budget in record time (even before all council districts were able to hold public meetings on the budget) ignoring the continued concerns of many residents about the lack of adequate police services particularly in and around City parks and today an article (http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119249/fergusons-lesson-local-government-poses-real-threat-liberty) appears in The Nation titled: The Greatest Threat to Our Liberty Is Local Governments Run Amok.

The article rightly points out with the lack of strong local media watchdogs and elections that are bought by special interests, local elected officials have developed political monopolies and enact proposals that do not reflect the concerns of their constituents: 

Political scientist Jessica Trounstine calls “political monopoly”—officials and organizations who have so effectively defeated any potential predators that they can lazily begin to gorge. She writes: “When politicians cease to worry about reelection, they become free to pursue government policy that does not reflect constituent preferences. They acquire the ability to enrich themselves and their supporters or pursue policies that would otherwise lead to their electoral defeat.”

Add a low voter turnout in local elections, and there is little threat to the politician who simply doesn’t listen to the voters.


Local government should be the level of government closest to the people and the most accountable. Unfortunately, that’s not happening.