12 November 2006

Top Down or Grass Roots?

There are at least two ways to arrive at government regulation, programs, or spending. The first is as a result of experts conferring in private rooms. The second is as a result of the public meeting in town halls.

The politicians in DC still don't seem to realize that this process makes more difference than the particular outcome in terms of support or protest.

Watch for the politicians who learn how to use technology to involve a wider swath of people in the formulation of policy. When a politician steps out of DC to involve groups in town hall meetings -- meetings that involve dialogue and not preaching -- that politician will rapidly rise to power and prominence. And the politicians still trying to contain politics to the beltway are going to be taken completely by surprise.

If the last election taught nothing, it should be that Americans simply don't trust supposed experts conferring in private rooms. Even better than transparency is involvement. If politicians want power, they should do all they can to disperse power by engaging others in a dialogue in which their input actually changes policy.

No comments: