Saturday, October 11, 2008

An Equation for Democracy??

I sent this letter yesterday to the editor at our local (Seattle) newspaper.

"This seems like a good time to remind readers about the Eternal Equation of Democracy: If the sum of the citizenry's intelligence, vigilance, and memory is less than the sum of the money of the lobbyists, the venality of the politicians and the collusion of the
media, then democracy is not functioning as it should. Sadly, the equation has been running a big deficit for the last eight years."

Do I believe in an "eternal equation of democracy?" While the conditions will vary depending on the place and time and we'll never have precise measurements for the values in the equation, I do stand by the equation. The one essential ingredient in a democracy is citizen engagement.

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