Saturday, February 06, 2016

The very worst thing any politician or public servant can do ...

... is anything they do in unnecessary secret

from the people whose money they are spending and
whose power they are wielding.

Think of transparency on a continuum between
as little as the law requires and as much as the law allows.

"As little as the law requires" can mean as little as can be gained by protracted and expensive litigation, and too often does.

"As much as the law allows" means that the people will know everything they need to know to play their part in the democracy, except for legally and ethically necessary secrecy and redaction.

Politicians and powerful public servants argue that there's a lot of ground between as little as the law requires and as much as the law allows.

The foundation upon which open government can be built cannot be one or the other, or a anyplace in between.  It can only be; as much as the law allows.

It's time to pick a side.  It's time to settle the issue;
at once, and for all.

Which seems the better foundation for government of the people, by the people and for the people?

Politicians and public servants using tax dollars
to underwrite litigation and legal weaselry
in order to hide the record of their public service
The ethically redacted truth belonging to the people.
The onus being on politicians and public servants
to prove that they're need to do something in secret,
according to the law, and according to the will of the people.
The terms of public service are the prerogative of the people.
They are not the prerogative of politicians and public servants.

You pick a side when you don't pick a side.

Your silence gives consent.

All that is necessary for the cultures of corruption and incompetence in government to continue, is for good men to do nothing.  Edmund Burke derived

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