Political Cycle-Time LO9789

Bill Hendry (sfidba@scfn.thpl.lib.fl.us)
Fri, 6 Sep 1996 09:30:57 -0400 (EDT)

Replying to LO9696 --

On Mon, 2 Sep 1996 BrooksJeff@aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 96-08-28 (LO9537) Ben writes:
> > ....politicians go to great length to court the right people, propose the
> >right legislation, to ensure that they get enough money to win the next
> >campaign. This, again, brings us to a near-term view of the political
> >process, and impedes, IMO, a systemic approach to government. >>
> Bill H. (LO9590, 96-08-29) makes a similar point:
> > The cycle of reelection which is pretty short term along with a
> >population which really doesn't understand how we got into the various
> >messes we are in encourages politicians to do something to make the folks
> >who reelected them feel like we are DOING SOMETHING. As most of us would
> >agree, cause and effect are not closely related in time and space (Senge,
> >5th Disc. p.63) If I am a politician, I want to get credit (votes) for the
> >risks I am willing to take while in office. >>
> Ben & Bill,
> This is a really good point, but I want to highlight the reason for the
> short terms of office for congressal representatives: responsiveness to
> the electorate. The constitution set the terms for senators at six years
> to encourage the kind of long-term, deliberative thinking that you so
> rightly hold as important. Unfortunately, this intended effect of the
> longer terms seems to be weakening. Actually, probably a more accurate
> way to say it is that other forces in the system seem to have gotten
> relatively stronger.
> The question I come to is: How can our political system best combine a
> responsiveness to the electorate with the long-term, systemic thinking we
> need to best address problems of governence?

Great question - perhaps the electorate needs to readdress this very
issue, although with the amount of voter apathy I'm not sure we are up for
the task. Sad that our system of governance is seen as someone else's
problem...similar to organization and blaming thread?

What would Emery and Trist say about getting the whole system in the room?


Bill Hendry <sfidba@scfn.thpl.lib.fl.us>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>