Editorial: We the peopleThere’s been a lot of talk lately about elected officials making important policy decisions based on input from “the people.”
There’s been a lot of talk lately about elected officials making important policy decisions based on input from “the people.”
The trouble has been, however, that one person’s “people” are saying something different than another person’s “people.”
Here in the 10th State Senate District, the populous has always been fairly divided when it comes to political ideology. Few candidates have ever run away with an election in these parts.
And with the recall election between incumbent Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) and challenger Shelly Moore (D-River Falls) just around the corner, conventional wisdom suggests that this contest will likely be pretty close as well.
Whomever the voters send to Madison as senator, one wonders what sort of message will be sent about how the elected official should represent “we the people” at the Capitol. Will either carry a clear mandate that her beliefs match up with the beliefs of her constituents? Usually about half the constituents back home won’t agree with the direction the newly elected, or re-elected official, may head.
Of course, the conundrum isn’t anything new. The tug-of-war between both sides of the political spectrum has been waging for most of our nation’s history. And these days there’s more than just two prevailing political ideologies at play, thanks to such expanding movements as the Tea Party.
With the varying opinions on what ails our state and nation, it’s certain that a senator will not be able to please everyone with the numerous votes taken. The best elected officials can do is to follow a path they believe will take Wisconsin toward a better future.
That’s why Tuesday’s vote is such a big one. What direction do “we the people” want the state to head? Do we support the current path set by Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican majority, or do we think things are out of whack and a political adjustment is required?
It’s up to the majority to decide — or at least the majority of those deciding to vote on Aug. 9.
In what direction will Wisconsin move? The results from the approaching election will provide the answer. If you want a voice in that eventual direction, you’d better get to your polling place and cast your ballot.
The Wisconsin Department of Tourism has released its list of Wisconsin’s top “Seven Natural Wonders.” It touts that the selected locations are the settings for some of the best outdoor recreation areas in the state and nation.
Few can argue with the destinations that made the list: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Big Manitou Falls, Cave of the Mounds, Devil’s Lake State Park and the Sandstone Bluffs, Eagle River Chain O’ Lakes, High Cliff State Park and the Niagara Escarpment, and Horicon Marsh. The Mississippi River gains an honorable mention on the list.
But there was one, perhaps even two, huge omissions from the list that has locals scratching their heads. The St. Croix River, as one of the region’s few federally designated Wild and Scenic Riverways, didn’t warrant a mention in the tourist-related promotional list. And neither did our beloved first-class trout stream to which fisherpersons flock from all the over the nation.
It’s a shame these didn’t make the list, especially considering the unique and exhilarating recreational adventures they offer through canoeing, kayaking, camping, hiking, bird and wildlife watching plus many other activities.
A group of kayakers and canoeists just completed an 18-day paddling excursion along the St. Croix River. The summer trip was aimed at drawing attention to the wonderful and varied recreational opportunities the 164-mile river has to offer.
We all see the big state welcome sign fairly often, which says “Industry, Agriculture, Recreation.”
We maintain that our local rivers contribute greatly to this Wisconsin motto. It’s too bad the list makers didn’t also see the St. Croix and Kinnickinnic rivers as we do.
Here are the early results from this week’s Journal online poll: Have you ever seen a wild animal bigger than 25 pounds on your property or in your immediate neighborhood?
-- YES, 88%
-- NO, 12%
Cast your own vote online at www.riverfallsjournal.com.