From the Greeks we have two very different terms to describe government: A "democracy," (demos-kratein) meaning people-rule, or the people have the authority. The leaders serve the people. The opposite, "monarchy" (mono-archein) means one rules, the top person is in complete control. The people serve the ruler. Which term seems to best fit our present state administration? Let's look at four events.
1) Our newly elected governor had the responsibility to appoint a senator to fill the seat he had vacated in Washington. Were there no other highly qualified candidates than a family member? Was this the action of a democracy or a monarchy?
2) As a representative democracy, our legislators represent us. They collectively denied Gov. Murkowski's request for a state-owned jet to which he would have first use. Deaf to their voice he proceeded to procure his desired state jet. Was this the action of a democracy or a monarchy?
3) In our 2005 legislative session the present administration took the strong position that Alaska cannot afford inflationary salary increases and Tier III pensions for its workers. Months later our governor gave his senior appointees a 30-40 percent salary increase. Was this an action of a democracy or a monarchy?
4) When one of our senior state leaders, in negotiations for a natural gas pipeline, raised serious confidential concerns with the administration, the leader was immediately dismissed. His experienced colleagues, with over 100 years expertise, chose to resign rather than compromise their integrity to themselves and to Alaskans. Is this administration a democracy or monarchy?
When the cheap in-words have silenced, what do the actions of our present administration reveal: a democracy or a monarchy? It's time we have an administration, regardless of party, that serves all the people of Alaska.
Paul D. Beran
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