Friday, September 16, 2005

Is the Mass Solution the Best Solution?

The major difference between the Democrats and Republicans in Hawaii seems to be that Democrats feel the need in Hawaii is for MORE government, while the Republicans think the need is for BETTER government -- which requires less government. Because of that difference, the Democrats have a fondness for the mass solution -- favored by the mass media, mass education, mass transportation interests, and any other group favoring the mass orientation rather than individual initiatives in the solving of most problems. That is to say, they feel that government should be the problem-solver of last resort -- and not the preferred, or only choice. The MASS orientation begins as the “preferred alternative,” that in time, has a nasty habit of becoming the only "choice" -- as in mass education, mass transportation, mass media, etc.

The latest episode of such a “discussion,” played out at the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization’s forum in which there was no provision for an effective input of public interest, but the group was ostensibly gathered to go through the motions of seeming to be a legitimate process of a public forum approving their already preconceived ideas of what they wanted to do -- which was never directly said, but implied the rail solution as the best choice. After providing their well-prepared “options,” any audience questions or discussion could be shouted to the moderator, who would summarize them to the audience on the microphone she would not lend to the public speakers.

That led many to realize very early on, that the whole affair was a joke -- and left, shaking their heads and muttering, “And these are the people who want to design a mass transit system for us -- when they can’t even run an effective meeting.” People were heavily encouraged to submit their ideas on a form provided and place them in a secretive ballot box before they left. Of course we could take the questionnaires home and provide them more reflective and thoughtful answers, but our speedy responses were encouraged.

They could do BETTER if they wanted to.


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