We live in a representative republic not a democracy. The only leftover from the days of ancient Greece where the concept was first embraced is that each of us gets to vote for our choice of candidate.

Once those votes are counted and the winning officials are sworn in, their duty is to now represent the best interests of the community at large. Violating their oath of office or Alaska State law is not optional and doing so is grounds for dismissal or recall. More than one assembly has faced the consequences of violating the Open Meetings Act and had to defend themselves against a recall effort. Personally, I’m not a fan of such actions, but that’s democracy at work.

While our demographics have certainly changed over the years, our voting results are not a natural outgrowth of those changes, but rather a man-made construct brought about by behind-the-scenes manipulation.

The recent effort to change our planning commission membership is just such an example. I begrudgingly admire those on the other side of the aisle for their dedication to transforming Haines into their version of utopia and for the hive mind they’ve created among their constituents.

Conservatives such as myself tend to argue for smaller governments, less regulation and less interference in our lives, while the more “liberal” almost universally want more government control, more power over how we live our lives and more taxes. Such is the world we live in.

Mike Armour