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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Friday, December 26, 2008

So much for majority rule

       Regional cooperation.
       Come on. How often have we heard that plea from elected officials from Motown, Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties?  You could fill a good-sized library with all the well intentioned huffing and puffing.
       But in the end, that's about all it has been.
       Now comes a chance to prove they can do it.
       In the wee small hours of the morning when ordinary folks were sawing logs last week, state lawmakers and local officials spent the night trying to expand Cobo Hall to save the North American Auto Show...assuming there is an auto industry to show off down the road.
       The sticky wicket was who would run the new authority?  The burbs surely didn't want Detroit to have a majority vote and for darn sure Detroit did not want the burbs to have enough votes to trump Detroit's concerns.
       The novel compromise they banged out means no one won. The deal tossed out the time-honored tradition of majority rule.  In its place a rather undemocratic notion that all five members will have to agree or nothing gets done.
       Talk about a mission impossible.  Now if everyone had been working together for decades to solve mutual problems, there might be reason for optimism that this cockamamie idea might work. But let's face it, the last time everyone in the region agreed on something….well there was no last time.
        So while everyone from the governor on down hails this great break through in the legislature, the odds are not very good that these five folks can unanimously agree on anything…and they have an ugly track record to prove it.


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