COMMUNICATION FROM ARKAY OF KORENDOR
Date of reception: 23 July 1989
Love and light, my Terran friends. This last message of Series Two will be a discussion of the political systems in your nation. As a preface, let me say that the principle of elections to determine the leadership of a nation or world is not especially common in the Alliance, at least not to the extent that you practice it.
While our form of government does involve general elections to determine those who will serve in vacant lower office levels, the individual so chosen is in that position for life, unless he or she leaves for some reason, such as promotion, voluntary retirement, or in extremely rare cases, malfeasance.
The various Council positions in the four highest levels of Alliance government are the province of Masters, who are not elected by the citizens of any world, but by the council members themselves from candidates provided by each involved world.
One could well imagine the problem in attempting to elect a Master through popular vote from over 700,000 planets, with populations in the billions on most of them. As well, such positions of authority demand that those who fill them are screened by those who are most qualified, the others in like posts. In our long history, only once has their judgement proved erroneous. We consider that a sterling record.
At the planetary level, the rulers are chosen by a "Surrogate Committee", who are themselves elected for life by the people of the world. The committee, which consists of one member for each million citizens of the planet, serves as the representative of the people in appointing individuals in governing positions. Their decisions are based on polls of popular opinion, but they, not the people, have the final word.
We find this an very satisfactory approach, as we understand that the average Alliance citizen has neither the time nor the inclination to become as thoroughly versed in governmental matters as would be required to vote knowledgeably on such appointments. Our citizens have every confidence in the ability of the Committees to select the appropriate people for any office, and have very seldom questioned their choices. This we take as a full approval of the method, and we foresee no significant changes.
It is the principle that Alliance protectorates must adopt as one of the conditions for becoming a full member. None have ever rejected membership on this basis. Therefore, as you say, "if it works, don't fix it."
In contrast is the hodgepodge that your nation employs to elect its many leaders and legislators. One of the significant impediments to a rational political methodology is the so-called "two-party" system.
To be sure, there are more than two political parties in contention. However, these others are primarily for show, as the average American has an ingrained distrust of any party that is not Democratic or Republican. We know that in many cases very qualified individuals were rejected at the polls specifically because they were not affiliated with the "proper" parties. This bias is a major obstacle to a rational resolution of national problems under the existing system, but the party structure is itself useless.
I shall not mince words here: the concept of political parties is almost entirely responsible for the disastrous inefficiency and ineptness of American government, and solely responsible for the internal friction and dissension that inhibit effective governance.
One can envision eyebrows meeting hairlines at that statement, but there is no more objective analysis to be made. The very existence of Democrats and Republicans has created a veritable political "snakeball".
From the moment that any person decides to run for office, he or she must, if anticipating success, align with one of the two parties. This means an assumed approval of that party's "platform" of positions, whether the actual agreement exists or not. The very designations Democrat and Republican carry with them imagery that forces the office-seekers and incumbents into "molds", pre-conceived positions associated with each party that limit the ability of the individual to work for good government.
Once the person has been elected, the restriction posed by party image is even more pronounced. How many times have you read of votes in Congress that were "along party lines", as the news media phrase it? Valuable legislation has been rejected in this manner, whereas some thoroughly disreputable laws exist solely because of the majority party.
"Crossover" voting occurs, as some legislators allow the opinions of the other side to taint their party purity, but these are far too few to have any significant effect on law-making. The legislation enacted in any given year is a function of the party with the highest "body count" in Congress.
The state and local legislatures are no less prejudiced, but their votes are confined to their local areas and do not impact the nation as a whole. This is indeed fortuitous, because they have repeatedly demonstrated themselves capable of some incredibly incompetent legislating. What is the single greatest contributor to this epidemic of ineptitude? Party politics.
What quite often determines a new candidate's success in running for a state office? He or she is elected just because the voters of the district are of the same political persuasion, and pull the party lever as always.
At any level, the party system is responsible for campaigning that is, to be far too gentle, shameful. Anyone who has witnessed the television campaigns for offices both small and large cannot fail to be adversely affected by the unfettered nastiness and negativism that attend all of them. Once again, this is based entirely on party-line divisions.
The "debates" that have become a staple on the political menu serve very little purpose except as forums for the candidates to display their adherence to the "official" party platforms while venomously attacking the other side.
The list might go on for many more pages, but the point is made, and leads me to ask this question: why do your people tolerate this foolishness?
Your continued acceptance of the outmoded and intrinsically worthless practice of party politics will lead to further degradation of government at every level. Individuals whose views and philosophies place them outside the "accepted" parties will remain on the sidelines, although in many cases their presence in office would be distinctly advantageous to everyone.
Others with no more qualification than a well-known political name or a numerical party-oriented advantage at the polls will be elected despite their unsuitability for their positions. Laws will be enacted strictly on party-based voting. "Dirty" campaigns will go on and become even more despicable.
In short, American politics will be "business as usual".
The time is now to make a profound change. It must start, not with the elected, but with the electorate, with you. The first step is to abandon your loyalty to any given party and to view each candidate strictly on what he or she says and believes.
The individual that will earn your vote must in turn address the issues from a position fully removed from the accepted or pre-conceived party views, and must be dedicated to a logical, non-political way of government.
Whether this will involve New Age concepts is unimportant at this point. The openness that will result once the nation turns to government by reason rather than politics will inevitably encompass those concepts, but every quest begins with the first step.
None of this will be easy. The momentum in any established system is inevitably toward the "status quo". One will face many seemingly insurmountable impediments, and the party system, with its interests and "perks" threatened, will fight back with a fury.
However, the future of your great country as you enter the next century is imperilled by a political machine that belongs in the history texts, not in government. The people must be made to understand and appreciate this grave danger.
As you enter the New Age, as Earth heads for its destiny, the political process must be discarded. Government must become responsive to the needs of the people and the planet, and be freed from the party-line quagmire. Anything less is as good as nothing.
The end of this second series is now upon me, but it is only the start of the journey that the people of Earth are making into the universal era for your world.
You with the vision that is "part and parcel" of the New Age are special people, and you have a special calling. Because you are special, you will be asked to do more than your fellows on your world. You have a very great task to perform. On your shoulders rests the future of all your people.
In this series of messages, I have discussed a number of difficulties that you face, and have offered a few ideas for your consideration. Please take the views I have shared as friendly advice from a very concerned individual, and from all of us in the Alliance.
I have said this before, but it bears repeating. We will not force our ways and ourselves upon you. Whether Earth becomes one with us is by your choice. We will only offer. You will accept only if you approve of what we have presented.
We are the Alliance, and you are welcome to be with us. Think about it.
Va i luce eno nol si unir. Go in light until next we meet.
I am ArKay. May peace be yours.
© 2008 Robert P. Renaud -- all rights reserved