I enjoy studying different governing structures and was intrigued by the elusive title If Mayors Ruled the World. This book, written by Benjamin Barber, was well researched and had many fascinating anecdotes and mini-biographical accomplishments of a few selected mayors. It was thought-provoking and opened my eyes to various world-wide city executive roles, however, I feel that many of the so-called accomplishments of the mayors were credited when it was not solely a local achievement, often times with the help of local business and state, national and even international governance and leadership.
I am, however, open-minded and enjoy daydreaming about how different society would be if we had a different government structure and if politics were less important. Personally, I find that local government is the most over-looked yet the most impactful element of government for citizens’ day to day life. (This past August primary Washington State had only a 24.37% voter turnout… yet these are the elections that arguably generate the most powerful impact on Washingtonians directly.)
The Freakonomics blog explains, “[m]ayors, Barber argues, are can-do people who inevitably cut through the inertia and partisanship that can plague state and federal governments. To that end, Barber would like to see a global “Parliament of Mayors,” to help solve the kind of big, borderless problems that national leaders aren’t so good at solving.”
Parliament of Mayors… I’d be interested to see how that goes, if it ever gets off the ground!