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Fixing Michigan [Feb. 5th, 2016|12:20 am]
Aaron Wissner
The Flint water issue dominates newsfeeds, and enters the national presidential debates. Hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions of people point fingers at the one(s) to blame. Some, point their fingers at Michigan itself, the entire state. We, we Michiganders, are to blame.

While it seems uncomfortable to take on such blame, or even to consider if their is any truth to it, spending a few minutes thinking or writing about it might prove insightful or even useful.

Rather than list what is wrong, perhaps listing what should change, in our state, might be most useful

* Allow us to elect whoever we want, a.k.a., end the inherently un-democratic restriction of term limits. In our state, we've had numbers, dozens, perhaps hundreds of excellent people elected to our state legislature, and yet year after year, having the most experience, suddenly, we are no longer allowed to vote for them, and they are no longer allowed to serve. This results in an ongoing and constant stream of newbies to Lansing, and the loss of the knowledge of years of experience.


* Provide for state funding of candidates. Currently, donors (individuals and corporations), rich and small, have to be courted in order to run a winning campaign and to turn out the votes. Those elected, in turn, are naturally friendly, and quick to listen, to those donors, especially the big donors, who have helped them get their new job, and who may help them again in the future.


* Consider a new model for decision making in Michigan, a 21st century model. With rapid transportation and electronic communication, perhaps the model of a very large number of people, electing one person, to represent them in Lansing, for two or four years, perhaps that is an outdated model of decision making. What other models of democracy could be effective within a population of 10 million.


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