Negative logic

Posted: Wednesday, September 27, 2000

Have you noticed that when Gov. Tony Knowles takes a position contrary to popular opinion on any given issue he justifies it based on what other politicians might do if his approach is not taken?

The most recent example of this is Gov. Knowles' position on the road to Skagway. Instead of positively explaining all of the reasons why being hobbled to a ferry schedule should cause Juneau residents to want more boats, Gov. Knowles says the vote for a road will be perceived by the Legislature as a vote against the Alaska Marine Highway System.

Given this kind of negative logic, we can assume that so many state jobs and even commissioners of departments have moved to Anchorage because Gov. Knowles does not believe there are quality people to serve in Juneau. Certainly this administration's attempt to blame the Legislature, and whipsaw state employee unions against each other with good ol' boy inside deals during the last negotiations, have also been examples of this cynical negative approach to governing.

Opponents of the road are quick to say a vote on it is unnecessary because Gov. Knowles has already made the decision for us. And, when the former Anchorage mayor blames the Legislature for what he says might happen if his faulty approach to providing better access to Alaska's Capital is not followed, he further empowers those senators and representatives who mostly come from Anchorage.

They shouldn't mind Tony's fear- mongering, however, because everybody knows that the only time you can be certain that a politician is telling the truth is when he or she is calling another politician a liar. A vote for the road is a vote against the paternalistic arrogance of this governor.

Donn Liston


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