Shining bright lights on backroom deals in the NYC body politic.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What's the Obsession?

The Question's Out There

Yesterday, for the second time in as many weeks, we came across a blogger wondering why we give a damn that the race for Speaker is happening behind closed doors; and seemingly, calling for us to leave the process alone.

To be exact, blogger EnWhySeaWonk had this to say on The Politicker:

"What is the huge deal with the Speaker race being behind the scenes? The Speaker of the U.S. House of Representative is chosen by the Reps, and he's second in line for the Presidency. The Speaker isn't in the line of succession at all for the Mayor. Well, I guess we need to obsess about something."

Aye wonkster! Call us idealistic, call us old-fashioned - but we'd prefer not to blindly outsource the selection of the city's second most powerful elective office to the firm of Manton, Lopez and Rivera. While all are undoubtedly nice guys, we did not elect them - nor their agendas - to represent us on the City Council. And the reality that many of our elected officials are answering to them first - as opposed to us (the public) - is a bit discouraging, to say the least.

The reality is that virtually no one (except insiders and their loved ones) trusts nor gives a hoot anymore about this entrenched, disconnected establishment of ours. You need only look back to turnout stats for the most recent elections and Primaries for proof - if you have any lingering doubts.

And as an aside we recommend that EnWhySeaWonk review section 28, subsection C of the City Charter - about the role the Council can play in the line of succession. The body is effectively third in line.

But even if it wasn't, using the Feds' closed-door process to justify our own seems flawed in and of itself. Why don't we all just give up on our democracy completely?

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