There are a lot of things in this world that require people to have faith. Much of our financial system is grounded on the “full faith and trust” that debts will be repaid. In fact, were it not for this trust, our money would just be nicely decorated bits of paper.
In our spiritual lives, the faith in a loving God gives people of many traditions the hope of better things to come.
In politics, there are many levels of faith from many different positions, but perhaps the most fundamental is that our elections will be carried out in such a way that there are few, if any questions about the outcome.
Certainly, every election has problems. The fact is, we’re human, even though some seem loath of acknowledge that, and humans make mistakes more often than not. But mistakes alone don’t shake one’s faith in elections. There are many other contributing factors that ultimately lead to a shaken faith in the system that go far beyond mistakes.
That seems to be where we are now in the ongoing saga of the Shelby County August 2010 elections. As Jackson Baker reported over the weekend, when you add mistakes to a lack of transparency and openness, along with a dash of what appears to be stalling tactics, people lose faith in the process.
As Jackson notes in his article, the Election Commission tweeted on Saturday morning the phrase:
Our silence is us protecting your votes & voting rights while following strong advice from attorneys.
On the face of it, that may seem all well and good, but silence ≠ protection. More often than not, silence = hiding something. Adding that silence to the mistakes, lack of transparency, and stalling tactics, and you’ve got a recipe for ongoing questions, which runs counter to anything requiring faith.
Hopefully things will be different this week. Hopefully, the system, and the people charged with administering the system will be able to withstand scrutiny and faith in our system will be restored. But based on early reports, that’s not likely to happen, leaving faith in our system of elections in limbo or worse.
The hard thing about faith is that once its gone, its difficult to restore. Regardless of your political affiliations, we should all want to have faith in our election system. In order for that faith to either be restored or maintained, some unnecessary barriers must be removed. Hopefully that will happen soon, so those of us with questions will have answers.
At the end of the day, if you have nothing to hide then you have no reason to try an hide anything. The system probably can hold up to scrutiny on its own, if the people in charge will let it.
On to the Coffee…
Haslam runs to the left in a new ad. One of his great governors says he’s overstating the challenges the state faces. And look, here’s another conflict of interest for the Knoxville Mayor.
Looking at the challenges facing rural west Tennessee.
Joe Powell looks at a TDOT contractor’s employment practices.
Alright, that’s all for now. More later as time permits.