Saturday, February 23, 2013

One entity, one vote!

Photos of Kalispell - Featured Images
This photo of Kalispell is courtesy of TripAdvisor.
If Rep. Steve Lavin (R-Kalispell) gets his way, owners of property in, say, Troy, but who live in, say, Ekalaka, will be able to vote and run for office in municipal elections in Montana even though they are not residents of the municipalities in which they’re voting. Even more startling, Lavin’s bill, HB-486, can be construed as giving the out-of-state corporate owners of property in a Montana municipality a vote in that municipality’s elections. Walmart’s bigwigs in Arkansas might be able to vote in Kalispell’s city council election by mail ballot.  (James Connor's Flathead Memo, February 21 2013)
And immediately, of course, the blamesters, as I like to call them, are snapping at your heels. "You're already buying the candidates, that isn't enough? Now you want to vote for them too?"

You have no idea how hurtful that is. When you're a corporation. In fact I have no idea either, not really. It's a little like the question of whether the unborn child feels pain or not, inside the womb, sheer guesswork. They're at another—some say a higher—order of existence, and we can't communicate directly with them. Does that mean they don't care? You can say any spiteful thing you want and it's not going to bother them? Hath not a corporation cameras? Hath not a corporation recording devices, with microphones planted in certain meeting rooms, lavatories, and so forth? If you prime us with alcohol, do we not leak?

The fact is, corporations live among us, in their disembodied way, working hard, playing by the rules, and trying to ensure a better life for their subsidiaries. If they have an interest in Kalispell, it's sort of like living there, except for the living part; they're concerned, just as you or I might be, with the little things that make a place a home, like do you have to pay workers minimum wage even if they're illegals, or how strict are they about hazardous wastes. Corporate citizenship is second-class citizenship; they feel they deserve the real deal. Is that asking so much? (Apparently yes, the bill didn't make it out of committee. But it's the thought that counts.)

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