Pique n' your interest 

A new world order

Making the political extremely personal

Dear Family/Constituents,

The impending municipal election has me thinking about political process. After careful consideration of such recent comments as "That’s unfair," "That’s harsh" and "You’re mean," I’ve come to the realization that the current form of extremely localized domestic government could be better.

Simply put, I’ve been a dictator and it’s not working. There, I said it. I feel better now, don’t you?

Not to absolve myself completely, but ruling, iron fist and all, has not been a bed of roses.

We have ensued a number of labour disputes that remain unresolved. Most notably the excavation of a certain person’s bedroom has resulted in lengthy unsatisfactory negotiations. Said bedroom floor seems to have taken on the role normally assigned to the chest of drawers or closet. Not to be alarmist, but this could be construed as "contracting out."

Also, the issue of job descriptions has also proven to be problematic with the cry of "it’s not my job" being heard with shocking regularity.

These labour issues have had a direct impact on the local economy with allowances not being adjusted to reflect the cost of living index. However, wildcat strikes have only been executed by the household tabby who has failed to live up to her claimed status as an exceptional exterminator.

The current government has also suffered from a lack of engagement on the part of its people. "I dunno," "Whatever" and "I don’t care" have become all too frequent responses to the pressing questions of the day. For example, when asked what is desired for dinner, Number One constituent’s witty answer is "Food" while, less politically astute Number Two, asks hopefully, "Macanoni and cheese?" Malapropism aside, the response is as tiresome as the first.

And perhaps, most importantly, I’m getting tired of hearing that I’m unfair, harsh and mean.

Obviously, we need a change.

In the past few weeks, I have pondered whether we should become a republic, a chartered city-state or establish a parliament.

Unfortunately, each of these forms of government has its problems.

Add an "an" to republic and that’s something I’m sure none of us wants to be, particularly since you, Number Two, have developed an irrational fear of George W. Bush. (I blame myself, but secretly hope this will serve you well later in life.) Applying for city-state status seems arrogant when the city-state in question would encompass 9,600 sq. ft. of subdivided land. It would also give us the dubious distinction of common ground with Vatican City and Washington, D.C. Moreover, an understanding of parliamentary procedure may be a little much to ask of someone who has not yet learned how to read. Conversely, Robert’s Rules of Order can become a dangerous tool in the hands of someone with an infinite capacity for minutiae.

Besides, I don’t want to start another government that will be just as unpopular as the last one. So to ameliorate that situation, I ask all of you to submit your concerns for my new, improved platform.

You want to do your homework with the TV and the stereo blasting away in the background? Just ask. You want chocolate to replace dairy as one of the regularly served food groups? Why not! Should chores taking more than five minutes be abolished? Now that’s a topic for discussion!

That’s right, I am willing to develop a platform that reflects every special interest and popular concern. What do I think? Who cares? As stated before, I just want to quit being perceived as unfair, harsh and mean.

Once we’ve set the basic agenda, we can hammer out a constitution. Some tedious quasi-legislative process could achieve developing a basis of unity, but that sounds like a lot of work. Not to mention that an incorrect move in that department could negatively influence my popularity.

Instead, I propose that any, and all, decisions affecting my government and its constituency be taken to referendum. All decisions that could in any way necessitate the expression of a genuine opinion on my part, will no longer be made my me.

Of course, the residue of my power-mongering dictatorial ways will require, for my personal sense of well-being, that I draft the questions. But since I am committed to open and transparent process, I will not employ the clever mutation and manipulation of the English language to confuse you into approving something I want while making you believe it is something that you want. Gosh, that does sound a little confusing… nevermind.

In closing, I hope that by using the referendum process, to put the power into your hands and absolve myself of any responsibility. And best of all, I’ll get to be seen as fair, gentle and kind.

Yours,

The Benevolent Dictator

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