Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

What good could come from election recall

recall, Scott Walker, job performace evaluation

The other day was job performance review day for me. Those always come with a bit of trepidation, especially during these times of fewer jobs. No matter how well you think or know you are doing, you also know you’re replaceable.

You have observed that some employers (surely not yours, but other people’s) behave badly during such times. Part of it’s their stress, and part of it’s just that they can.

And now the citizens of Wisconsin are evaluating the governor’s job performance sooner than the usual election term evaluation. He's been called on the carpet.

If you are pro-Walker, and odds are half of you are, this is a source of outrage. If you are anti-Walker, and odds are half of you are, this is a chance to correct a wrong-thinking approach to just about everything.

And if you’re one of the three people who doesn’t know where you stand on Walker, God bless you. But you’re probably not happy about all the money, the buckets and buckets of money, being spent to try to claim your vote. Especially as you won’t see a penny of it yourself, and what’s with that?!

I wasn’t in favor of the recall, as much as I deplore many things the governor has done and his my-road-or-high-road approach to governance. I think the Democrats need to spend their time, energy, and money developing new ideas and candidates we are excited to vote for.

Still, I signed the recall petitions. It seemed  the only way to try to get through to someone who, as seems to be the political style these days, listens only to a few voices, most of them not our neighbors’ voices.

None of us would survive in a job where we failed half of our clients or half of the measurement standards. I’m pretty sure most of us would not survive in a job where we failed to satisfy 25% of the people who get to judge our performance.

What if politicians took recall job performance evaluations as an opportunity to improve performance? To change, adjust, and adapt if you’re the existing “employee”? And if you’re the new person in the job, to heed a warning about how not to do things?

What if the winner of the election decided to serve all of the citizens, and not just those on his or her side of the fence? What if he or she governed for the common good, and not the good of a special interest agenda? What if he or she used compromise as a tool?

In a rare moment of admitting he’d do something differently, Governor Walker has said  he’d have explained his moves against collective bargaining better. He’s not alone in skipping the step of listening better and trying to discern what the people want and what would serve us best.

Whoever wins next month, 51% of the votes is not a mandate. It’s a squeak-by. The challenge is to convince (not by explaining better but by doing better) most of the voters that you are, if not the best person for the job, at least not in need of disciplinary action.

Will any of this transpire? Doesn’t seem likely. But as a gentleman friend of my age who is saving himself for Penelope Cruz or Catherine Zeta-Jones (perhaps, in his dreams, both), says, it could happen. . .

Meanwhile, I’m voting today in the primary for the one person who seems to be interested in listening and doing things differently. Have you listened well enough to the campaign rhetoric to guess who that is?




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