Guest of the Stable: p1ywood platform – end City Council Ward seats

There is a better way I tell you, I have seen the future. I would ask you to take the way you do your grocery shopping and re-think it, because I have figured out a way to buy things I use everyday that makes much more sense to me. Let’s see, let’s start with apples. When I buy apples I take about three weeks to prepare. First thing I do is find a group of people like myself who like Granny Smith apples, but have a particular aversion to Golden Delicious. We get together, have a house parties, drink wine and eat cheese, catch up on old times, tell our war stories about how silly Golden Delicious apples are, and how there ought be more Granny Smith Apples in the world, and of course about how insightful we all are for having come to this conclusion. 
Over the course of these few weeks, we make a special point of reading everything the distributors of the various kinds of apples have to say in the aggrandizement of the particular kind of apple they are promoting to help pay their mortgages. Then, on the big day, we take a bus trip to a station about ten miles away, call a taxi, fight our way through a sea of picket lines of people indifferently promoting the Golden Delicious  as they give looks askance to the people in picket lines across the street indifferently promoting Granny Smith apples. Upon arrival at the supermarket, I then proudly buy a two years supply of Granny Smith apples AND ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE, get back in the cab and go home.
And I better hurry, because there is another dedicated shopping trip by bus and cab to do in three weeks, and it turns out that Valencia Oranges, which I just love and know a lot of people that love, are going to have quite the run for their money against these crazy, badly motivated, upstart distributors for Navel Oranges. And I can’t wait to get to that Valencia Orange house party, because I just got a  most cheerful new outfit, and just EVERYONE will be at the party to see and be seen.  I also am anticipating a couple of glasses of a good vintage Chablis for my trouble. But remember, on that big day when we get on the bus to the cab to go to the same store, we are to buy a two years supply of oranges and NOTHING MORE, as no other system makes sense, and we have no interest in having any of these myriad trips to the store have any  of the efficiencies of scale.  After all, who cares how much these trips to the store cost, and perish the thought, we might inadvertently compare apples to oranges.
This, basically in a nutshell, and I do mean NUT shell is why the Old Guard would have you believe that the people of Hoboken should go to the same polling machine many, many times each year, instead of holding all elections in November. Makes sense to me.
I know nobody asked me, but my two cents is that I believe at this juncture the important work of the Reform majority (or whatever tent name that should be) is furthering the agenda of good government as possible while concurrently creating and maintaining a sustainable power base, so progress can continue in such framework. So, let’s talk about that framework.
About those different kinds of city council seats.  Those ward seats, boy, I’ll tell you, what a quaint little set-up. In my mind, the ward seats served a function at one time, which they largely do not anymore. The agenda of any one ward varies only very slightly at best from other wards. It is the worst kept secret in Hoboken that through whatever legal or possibly illegal means, the outcome of ward elections has been manipulated to create outcomes based on infiltration of the ward by special (esp. moneyed) interests controlling the vote. The operative dynamic is the authorities either are unaware, indifferent, or unable to reign in the alleged foul play. Hence, we have a broken, slanted system, which no one seems able to rectify; all the while election after election takes place in this unrepresentative, skewed system. So it would seem the only effective course of remedy in order to return to the equities of a “one man/ one vote” system is to eliminate the ward seats, and have them all be council-at-large seats. If anyone has a better idea, I’m all ears. 
Now the Old Guard is starting to make noises about eliminating at-large seats. There is no wondering why. Concurrent with the Old Guard forwarding that agenda, Reform should roll out such a “eliminate the ward seats” initiative as described above. End result is most likely to be that at the end of the day nothing changes, but in the absence of that opposing force, the Old Guard might just get some of these downgrades to truly representative democracy through, because there will be no counter-initiative inertia in place. Net result: loss of ground. Yes, this may be a bunch of political bullshit, posturing, gnashing of teeth and wasting of energies, but Reform needs to start stepping up to the tactical rules of engagement that exist, or the likelihood of losing ground increases as the assault volleys keep coming in. So I guess I am not talking about offense vs defense, but offensive vs counter-offensive. Simple cause and effect negotiation dynamics.  
Reform should have a roadmap to success at the ballot box. Get a SUSTAINABLE powerbase going. That is and will continue to be what Reform is up against, and the world we live in, like it or not. I may be wrong, but I often think Reform does not “get” this or finds it too distasteful to engage in or discuss. I can and do respect that. But the aforementioned is the kind of number being done on Reform and to survive and prosper, IMO Reform must step up. Or make peace with being a “message” party as in: also ran, meaning too naive, too squeamish or too ivory tower righteous to go for the win. You pick ’em.
p1ywood has an opinion about everything it seems. These opinions are solely those of p1ywood and not necessarily Da Horsey and MSV.  p1ywood is currently taking bookings for a whimsical, gag-laden, fifteen-minute floor show for wood industry trade shows. Please don’t capitalize p1ywood. Twitter: p1ywood, Facebook : Ply Wood. Yeah, I know, I know, those guys at Facebook MAKE ME capitalize it. You all get home safe, now.

Leave a Reply