In a recent Letter to the Editor to The Herald and News (see clipping here...) James Finses of Copco Lake probes issues regarding the task force designed to “clean up the Klamath Basin water issues.”
Finses starts with a fair warning to taxpayers, “Voters beware. Here comes another sham...” Then he notes that, “In both Klamath and Siskiyou counties, voters elect the boards of commissioners or supervisors to represent the voters.”
Next, he asks a searching question, “Where are they on the list of invited stakeholders?” They are not there because socialists have rigged the system to circumvent our representative forms of government. The entire “consensus” effort is based upon the ideology that uses four distinct points for creating what is known as a “collaborative effort.” The “collaborative effort” is a methodology designed to usher progressive/socialistic ideas from the elites in academia into transformational public policy. It springs from the Progressive Policy Institute which is a liberal think-tank that was a project of the Democratic Leadership Council, an organization which Bill Clinton headed.
Here, all of the following bullets are quoted directly from the Policy Consensus Initiative pamphlet entitled, Understanding the Spectrum of Collaborative Government Practices (available here):
- “Inform – In information-exchange processes, government leaders or staff members meet with representatives from the private and civic sectors, as well as individual citizens, to give them information or obtain information from them.
- “Consult – Leaders can use consultative meetings or committees to gain feedback, advice, or input from a broad array of stakeholders.
- “Engage – The next point on the spectrum is typically called “involvement,” but we prefer the term and concept of “engagement.” Much window dressing is being done in the name of “public involvement.” It is often undertaken by agencies and companies when they have no intention of acting on the results, but want to be able to say that they have listened to or consulted with the public.
- “Collaborate – Collaborative processes—which are the main focus of this Guide—seek consensus recommendations from the public or stakeholders and/or invite shared responsibility in decision making as well as in implementation.”
These ideas sound so harmless. What could anyone complain about?
Yet, the concepts that get abandoned with the collaborative process are exactly what Finses identifies – representative government.
When an “individual citizen,” who might have a minority opinion, magically becomes an “invited stakeholder” instead of the majority's elected representative the system is rigged. Rigged, I might add with plenty of news coverage to create the disguise of being “able to say that they have listened to or consulted with the public.”
This is where cultural elites get a place at the table instead of elected representatives. “Collaboration” itself, is a bare-bones methodology to bring ideologies to bear that have no standing within normal representative governance. The pamphlet describes, “To collaborate means to ‘co-labor,’ to work together to achieve common goals.”
Obviously, this is a collectivist/socialist ideology that has made its way into an ever-more grasping bureaucracy. Ludwig von Mises, in his preface to Bureaucracy, writes,
"The main issue in present-day social and political conflicts is whether or not man should give away freedom, private initiative, and individual responsibility and surrender to the guardianship of a gigantic apparatus of compulsion and coercion, the socialist state. Should authoritarian totalitarianism be substituted for individualism and democracy?"
The task force that is being coordinated by Richard Whitman, Governor Kitzhaber's natural resources policy advisor, is purposefully composed of “invited members.” The consensus process violates the norms of representative governance and comes complete with a frank admission:
“Government-sponsored consensus processes are not the traditional forums in which policies are made, administered, or adjudicated in a democracy. In traditional forums, the mechanisms for determining who participates directly in the writing and administration of law are spelled out in constitutions, charters, statutes, and rules.” -- Practical Guide to Consensus — Abbreviated Version
Would representative governance make a difference? Would a different list of invitees result in different solutions?
Here’s a novel idea – invite representatives from the governmental entities within the Klamath River Basin. Tribal board members get a seat; county supervisors or commissioners participate; irrigation district board members get a seat and so-on.
Imagine what that “consensus” might look like.
The main difference in this list over the Governor’s “invited task force” is representative participation. This would be the historical norm in America as “policies are made, administered, or adjudicated in a democracy.”
Government by special interest groups with war-chests filled with lobbying donations serves the politicians. Not the tax-payers. Tax-payers are not stockholders or stakeholders.
Apparently, we are only the funding source for the bureaucratic transformation of America.
“Voters beware. Here comes another sham...”