June 13, 2009

Thought for 06.13.09

On Democracy

The New York State Senate is beginning to make Iran look like Greece in the days of Pericles.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG


eileen the uppity woman said...

Seriously. It's EMBARASSING.

TM Liotta, BSG said...

What a mess! One can only guess the real reasons for the coup.

Thomas Mark Liotta, BSG

Counterlight said...

I certainly hope not!
Athens under Pericles, and after, was a mess. The Assembly was dominated by demagogues who drove war heroes like Themistocles into the arms of the Persians, pushed Athens into a disastrous war with Sparta, and into an even more disastrous imperial adventure in Sicily.
Compared to that, the mess in Albany is small potatoes.

The problem with democracy is that it is so ugly. It is not about selfless heroes riding in on white horses to save civilization. It is about committees negotiating between competing claims and interests and creating agreements that no one is entirely happy with, but everyone is willing to live under. Inevitable parts of that process are coalition building and parliamentary manipulation. It is not at all pretty, but it seems to work better than anything else.

The outcome of all this mess may be a more truly democratic NY Assembly where issues are fought out in the chamber, rather than settled in a hotel room between 3 people; Joe Bruno, Larry Silver, and George Pataki.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Counterlight, you are probably right about Athens (my comment was to some extent tongue in cheek) but I will remain skeptical about Albany, especially since the recent coup has all the earmarks of behind the scenes workings. I actually thought our State was doing fairly well these last few months, under Patterson and the present Senate and Assembly -- so this action just a couple of weeks before the end of session seems all the more troubling.