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Politicians changing their votes on issues with which they were elected

Updated on December 21, 2013

The profession of being an elected politician is not a favorable occupation with which to be active. There are many kinds of elections and the actions of those who get elected based on their position on the issues do not always reflect the votes they cast after an election. Granted there are some cases there can be new information which may cause an individual to change their votes but in others no new evidence is presented on which to base a change in position.

Before going further there are many fine individuals who represent us in governments at all levels and the closer to the voter an elected official is located the more impact or reaction takes place on the switch. Our elected officials must understand they can be recalled though it may not take place as often as it should. Individuals that present themselves as having certain positions on issue (s) which are the top issue (s) on which voters are casting their votes should be honest. Honesty is not a quality many voters feel are a quality of a politician but it should be. Local government and individuals who serve in local governments need to exhibit honesty and integrity both before and after an election.

There are always going to be controversial issues in local elections and decisions by voters on any issue should be a message that is loudly received. Individuals who are elected for their position on a specific issue in the campaign to get elected should not ignore the response from voters if they get elected. There are always going to be individuals on the other side of an issue that do not want to accept the will of the people from election results. In some cases they have a vested interest in keeping an issue on track but there is no sound financial base to continue a project for which funding is not available.

City governments like many states and the federal government need to look at their financial situation logically and make decisions based on whether income exists to continue a project. There needs to be sound financial plans in place which should be utilized in creating or continuing projects which costs funds to be taken away from needed services for a city. Recently voters overwhelmingly elected officials based on their positions on a streetcar project for which the funding by all reports was not in place. It was passed by a past city council with some support in an election the results of which may not have been overwhelmingly blessed the project. Elections on issues which have a close result in terms of support are ignored as blessing a project, any project.

The streetcar project was placed on hold and rightfully so until an independent analysis could be conducted on the costs of continuing the project or shutting it down. It was not just about these costs but the operating costs in the future. The results showed there was not much change, if any on the financial figures. A promise from private sources to provide funds for a specific timeframe caused members of council changed their votes and it moved forward. This change in position took place regardless of the fact that it is known that funds anticipated to be received will not pay for the operation of the streetcar.

In any city government there are always going to be difficult decisions and sometimes information received by those newly elected may change a position on issues. The information presented to the public after the election did not signify a change in the financial picture of the project but council moved forward with the project. City funds for projects should be used to benefit an entire city not one specific area taking away funds from the rest of the city. Granted there may be some benefit to an entire city for some projects but in some if not most cases the projected benefits may not be realized. Elected officials in city governments need to base their decisions on the facts as they are not what they anticipate they will be in the future. If funds cannot be confirmed to sustain or support a project going forward it should not go forward. Also sometimes cities do not have a choice with some projects but if there is a choice elected officials should base their decisions on the financial aspects of a project.

The decision to go forward with the project has seen by some reports efforts to recall some of the elected officials who changed their position. Recall elections are not common but if voters are angry enough this avenue should be available and if it takes place it would send a message to politicians who change a position after they are elected.


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