Thursday, October 04, 2007

Wen Jiabao for Mayor

It's too late to draft him, but Memphis can still heed his words.

Corruption is caused by many factors, and the most important factor is excessive concentration of power and the lack of effective checks and oversight. This makes it necessary to reform our system. We must implement the Administrative Permit Law that has been enacted and reduce the number of matters that require government approval. When government departments have excessive administrative resources and power of approval, it will give rise to corruption where public officials trade power for money, abuse power for personal gains, or act in collusion with business people. We should work to redress concentration of power and enhance public supervision of the government. All the decisions on administrative approval, particularly those concerning the interests of the general public, must be made in an open, fair and transparent way.

This means we need to ensure people's rights to democratic election, democratic decision-making, democratic management and democratic oversight. It means we need to create conditions for people to oversee and criticize the government. It means we need to ensure that everyone enjoys all-round development in an equal, fair and free environment and that people's creativity and independent thinking are fully released. It also means that we need to run the country according to law, improve the legal system and strengthen the rule of law.
He's a commie talking about socialist democracy, yet he speaks more liberally and candidly than any present civic leader of our long democratic city.

Clarification: I wrote most of this post a long time ago, and posted it before I had seen any of Thursday's election results. I'm not talking about one man. I'm talking about a system that has existed for a long time in Memphis, that existed long before he was first elected and would have survived his defeat. It's not just our political class that's the problem. In fact, focusing on that class and giving a pass to our business and institutional classes tends to racialize the issue, which serves the status quo, as racism has always served the status quo.

In point of opinion, I see the same love of authority, hierarchy, incumbency, opacity and exclusion, and their attendant corruption and cronyism, stagnation and public relations, coming from all quarters of Memphis leadership, public or private.

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