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Friday, November 4, 2016

The iron law of oligarchy

My letter to the editor of The Southland Times was published in this morning's edition. After reading that, I stumbled upon a link to this interesting concept.
Here's my letter:

"What does a man have to do to land that role, asks the author of Wednesday's editorial,”Environment Southland: did they rob Roy?”

What indeed. The battle for the chair of the council is one that makes the Game of Thrones look like Sesame Street. Eric Roy could have, were he not a man who prefers to be chosen on merit rather than behind the scenes lobbying, got on the phone and promised plum roles in sub-committees in return for votes. According to his pre-voting address, that's just what he didn't do. I was encouraged by that and despite coming from a very different political background to Eric, I voted for him. I don't know who was more surprised, Eric or my fellow councilors."


fredinthegrass said...

Rg, I'm impressed with your 'element of surprise'!
Keeps folk guessing and is an essential skill in politics.

robertguyton said...

Thank you, fred; even I don't know what I'll do next :-)

fredinthegrass said...

I'm like you at times, Rg. It makes life kinda fun.
Annoys the heck out of some people!
Not that I would set out to be annoying - maybe a tad irksome just occasionally.

Philip Todd said...

I did wonder at how you managed to place a shakey tick besides Eric,s name. I even wondered why Eric can be bothered with getting involved after many years on the front line of politics.
The one strength he would have bought is the ability to deal with staff. Many local authorities have strong CEO's who constantly step over the line beyond what their responsibility authority gives them because of weak governance or councillors thinking they need to be mates with staff.
Challenging times with the green stuff flowing down our waterways

robertguyton said...

Very perceptively put, Philip. I too wonder at how Eric will cope with his "foot soldier" status. I know he's sharp on process, so there'll be plenty of point-of-order opportunities, especially with a chairman who's new to the position. Eric also lost his other bids to become committee chair and that will irk him even more. The competition couldn't be described as fierce.