Legislative / Regulatory

It’s Election Day: Go vote, and check out USDemocrazy

Usdemocrazy Have you ever wanted a simple explanation of our electoral college and its role in the presidential election?

I just found a great site that explains the serious business of U.S. elections with colorful cartoons and tongue-in-cheek humor.

The site is www.USDemocrazy.net. It's the creation of students and staff at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Many of you will recognize the artwork as the team was lead by local celebrity Kal Kallaugher (KAL), the political cartoonist whose work is featured in the Baltimore Sun and The Economist magazine. It is fun and educational -- well done!

Check out our home state, Maryland. We have a Political Looney-O-Meter score of 2.8 (on a scale of 5), which puts us closest to 3 -- Like a chimpanzee colony. With a whopping 10 electoral college votes and a heavily democratic majority, we don't see much presdential campaign activity despite our proximity to the nation's capital.

One final thought: Regardless of the outcome today or late tonight, let's all make it a point to come out of the election with a renewed commitment to pay more attention in the future and a commitment to civility with each other. This election has brought out the worst in too many of us (including our leaders), and we need to all work together to focus on the real issues and stop the personal attacks.

Starting with the 111th Congress on Jan. 3, 2009 and our own Maryland General Assembly, which will start its 426th session on Jan. 14, to the inauguration of our next president on Jan. 20, we need to pay attention more and relearn how to be citizens of our democracy again. There are simply too many serious issues facing us, and we all have the right to be active particpants in the process. We have to make the time to be active particpants and not just wait for the next presidential campaign. That means watching important issues, writing to our representatives, engaging in our associations' political work and making sure our voices are heard.

It is also our role as your association to hear your voice and magnify it for the protection and advancement of your profession. Did you know that associations are the result of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? This phrase, "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances" was the impetus behind the uniquely American non-profit institutions that represent special interests. That was why we were founded in 1901 and what we have been doing ever since -- advocacy.

As members of our association and as members of our democracy, we all need to commit to be better citizens, pay attention more and bring back civility.

Talk back: Do you agree with this or can we just let the politicians reign free?

Don't forget to make plans to attend CPA Day in Annapolis on Jan. 28. Register here.