Saturday, February 7, 2009

To Caucus or Not to Caucus

Marty Luster and Barbara Mink signed today's letter to the editor regarding the usefulness of caucusing.

As someone who serves on a deliberative body for which caucusing is forbidden, I have to say, I don't get it. We air our ignorance in public biweekly. If people don't want to listen to us, they don't. Often, through these lengthy and heated discussions, we change each other's minds. In public!

The only difference I can see is that we're not partisan. Each of us is elected to serve the entire district. That certainly doesn't mean we don't represent particular points of view, but we don't feel compelled (and legally are not allowed) to present a united front prior to the public discussion that leads to a vote. Despite this, by the end of our discussion, we fairly often are unanimous.

Maybe for a very large body, this doesn't make sense. Nevertheless, it is the only way I can see to be truly representative of the people. I am very careful to alert our troops when I fear we're veering out of executive session topics during executive session, because I'm passionate about the public's right to know. I don't think explaining a vote after the fact (and how often does that really happen?) can ever take the place of making one's very thought process transparent through public airing of differences.

In this I disagree with many of my friends in the Party. Too bad.

1 comment:

Les said...

Kaz...well said!! Les