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??Elections?? 2004 and 2008

As I contemplate the upcoming elections this year and in 2008, I liken the situation to a flight from Someplace to Someplace. I purchased a seat on this flight with full confidence that I would arrive at Someplace. It was announced that this was the ceremonial final flight for this pilot as he was going to do something else with his life.

The take-off and ascent to 35,000 feet seemed normal. About half way into the flight, we suddenly find ourselves with the seat belt sign ?on?, and experiencing moderate to severe turbulence. Many passengers are suffering anxiety and suggesting we change ?pilots?. There are several individuals on-board who claim to be qualified to operate this airplane. Would it be wise to change pilots mid-flight, mid-storm, without first ?qualifying? that replacement ? Will the replacement merely change altitudes to clear the storm, and proceed to Someplace, or will that replacement change altitudes and return to the Someplace where the flight originated, or land the plane at some closest airport, and leave me stranded ?

I am fully aware and recognize that it takes much more than just the ?pilot? to get me to Someplace. It takes a lot of ?support staff?. The co-pilot, the navigator; the flight engineer; the cabin attendants; the ticket counter; the security people; the baggage handlers; the fuel suppliers; the maintenance mechanics; the weather forecasters; the control tower folks; and all those people in between who look at radar screens eight hours a day, not forgetting the people who operate and maintain the airports.

Getting to elected government, I see the election in 2004 as the selection and hiring of many of these support personnel. We have the time between now and then to research their qualifications; their backgrounds; their work habits; their commitment to serve us well.

I see the election in 2008 as the selection and hiring of the ?pilot? and all of the various department heads. Yes, department heads that will be appointed by the ?pilot? we choose. We have the time to do the necessary homework to allow us to make the correct decision in the hiring of that ?pilot?.

The problems we face in the world today won't suddenly vanish in November, 2008. Those problems (this flight and turbulence) will be around for a long time to come.

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