Thingish Things

Government Anonymous

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Feb• 17•11

I use the word “transparency” a lot in my day job. It polls off the charts. When asked if they would be more or less likely to vote for a candidate who fights for “transparency in government,” about 70-75% of voters these days generally respond in the affirmative. That’s a big number — right up there with the results from “provide more services with fewer dollars.”

But I’m beginning to think transparency is not what we need in government. What we may need, in fact, is just the opposite — utter anonymity.

With every passing day in capitols across the country, it is becoming increasingly clear that a great majority of legislators are — how does one say this politely? — chicken shit. Political careers have become more important than what is right for towns, cities, counties, states, and, ultimately, the country.

Most people in office know what needs to get done — systematically reduce government spending — but they don’t want to be the ones to have to sneak into the lion cages and snatch back the rib roasts.

So maybe we should give our elected officials in Albany and Washington and Sacramento and Springfield a temporary reprieve from accountability — a transparency holiday for, say, a week, where they can anonymously vote on all the ugly stuff — the tough budgets, the pension reform bills, and the entitlement changes.

It would require a complete media blackout, windows covered in dark paper, chimneys sealed, a sweep for bugs … Legislators could mask themselves to be extra safe and use voice altering machines like kidnappers have in the movies. All that would be allowed would be tweets to the outside world: “Tied. To. Chair. Can’t. Break. Free.”

At the end of the week, all the tough stuff could be pushed through and no one would be the wiser to who dunnit.

I wonder how that idea would poll…

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.