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Voters should ask local candidates for office this year about their commitment to public engagement

Posted By Jill Miller Zimon On January 11, 2013 @ 10:20 am In democracy,Elections,Engagement,Politics | Comments Disabled

From my day job: [1]

Many political candidates don’t just have a fear of commitment [2]. They have a fear of engagement [3]. But with 2013 being a local government election year, voters should pull no punches in putting the question about committing to public engagement to the people who want their votes. Contrary to the immortal words of the ultimate¬†Meatloaf song [4], we can’t just sleep on it. We want to know: what’s it gonna be, yes or no?

So often, we clamor to know how a candidate will vote on an issue he or she hasn’t yet faced. We provide hypothetical circumstances that we want them to imagine are real. Sure, plenty of politicians pick and choose issues about which they will shake their fist and blurt out a reliable yes or no (consider how few elected folks waffled on the Affordable Care Act; most knew what they wanted, the issue was whether they’d vote for what came before them). But mostly, we’ve come to accept as routine a refusal to comply with such a demand. It’s truly rare to see courage rear it’s head and and expose itself through the voice of a political wannabe as he or she, instead, silently calculates the local vote count that can be earned by resisting commitment.

Now, with the fear of engagement, there is hope. At least, I have hope.

Read about why I have hope here and add you thoughts in the accompanying conversation [5].

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URLs in this post:

[1] From my day job:: http://theciviccommons.com/blog/fear-of-commitment

[2] fear of commitment: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/21/night-watch-candidates-who-wont-answer/

[3] fear of engagement: http://www2.wjbf.com/news/2012/oct/29/5/why-local-candidates-arent-debating-their-opponent-ar-4850043/

[4] Meatloaf song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NTDHjVKQyo

[5] the accompanying conversation: http://theciviccommons.com/conversations/getting-candidates-to-commit-to-public-engagement