A quorum is the majority of a group, and it is so designated as enabling the group to do its business. Anything less than a quorum, the group cannot act, cannot legislate, cannot change the status quo, cannot repeal. Imagine if one or two members sat in the House and passed legislation. Much the of the public – if they bothered to pay attention or the august press bothered to tell – would be outraged. But what would be the reaction if our legislators stopped completely to make laws and this responsibility were outsourced to the Forbes Top Wealthiest Corporations?
Democracy US style appreciates such stunning examples as what passed for an election a few weeks ago here in Long Beach, California. At a time when schools are treated like the crazy wicked step cousin, in charge of a constituency without a voice or vote, decimated since the late 1970’s Proposition 13, a school board member was elected with only 6 percent turnout.
Six percent should cause alarm, but not as much as the context the power shifts beneath our unfunded, privatized, neoliberal feet.
Now, we cannot force people to vote, but we can look at the options given them. Our political establishment in our so-called free land has long restricted the power share to two purported parties. I argue it is one party with two wings, because they share the same assumptions, marginalize the same lower classes, elderly, children, … and are paid for by the same corporate entities that have no interest in public welfare, only private profit.
It is the corporate power that should make headlines more than the 6% turnout.
While most school board elections are not partisan elections, the entities paying for them are the same. Those not fiscally supported haven’t a chance in Hell.
Many reasons might exist for the 94% staying home or not bothering to send in their mail-in ballots. They haven’t drunk the corporate Kool-Aid.
Candidate One loves kids and after-school programs, and Candidate Two loves kids and pre-school programs. Both love the Arts, of course. But neither will lift a finger to legislate or rob the public purse on behalf of the rights of children, who only get one childhood, who cannot, like a Losing Candidate, seek a new career as a Consultant or a Lobbyist.
These are cynical options that do not inspire voter confidence and are meant not to.
Our California governor, who probably rejects being handed his post in that infamous recall of Gov. Gray Davis, felled by Enron shenanigans with the express help of George W Bush, whined today about not getting a fair share of taxes from the federal government. This is rich coming from a man who won’t raise taxes or repeal the sweet-heart tax breaks given the rich of the state … to pay for our children and their education.
He did make some very dangerous proposals to further privatize our prisons.
With such a disastrous formula, why vote indeed? Why be complicit in the further eroding of our society by making another generation of our youth no better than the generation Pres. Franklin Roosevelt found being drafted into the Second World War: underfed, undereducated, and underachieved. This prompted him to embolden public education nationwide.
Now we find ourselves raising generations of ricket-minded youth who will become ricket-minded adults. They are not likely to pay attention to voter turnout, election rules which keep worker-lead political parties off the ballot. They won’t know who rules them. They will not only be qualified for low-wage jobs, but statistics show they won’t vote either. But more, they are less likely to make cogent demands of the political class, which satisfies very well those corporate entities who don’t want the public to get in their way.
For more of my articles: Dec 25 attempted bombing an institutional failure * The great purge of 2010 * Afghanistan