Herb Paine: Arizona Votes, Arizona Hopes

By Herb Paine
Published: Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 12:29pm
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(Photo courtesy of Herb Paine)
Herb Paine is the president of Paine Consulting Services in Phoenix.

All eyes are on the Nov. 4 election, but it’s really Jan. 12, 2015, that matters the most.

On that day, when a new legislature convenes and a new Governor takes office, we’ll find out if the future will be more gridlock or whether the parties will figure out a way to collaborate and solve Arizona’s challenges.

Right now, the prognosis doesn’t look good — but we can hope.

We can hope that, whether it is Mr. Ducey or Mr. Duval, he will enlist the best and the brightest strategic of minds to occupy the seats of executive leadership. We can hope that a divided legislature will grasp the importance of restoring the public’s faith in its ability to govern, because we really can’t afford to be stumbling along and kicking the proverbial cans of education, job creation, and water supply further down the road.

There’s very little of significance that we learn in political campaigns about the men and women who ask us to trust them. This frustration with campaigns and candidates and sleazy ads and the role of money is an old story. In the end, the elections are a crap shoot! We get what somebody else has paid for! And our faith in the process is further eroded.

Yet, we can still hope — that, in the face of a massive budget deficit and embarrassing statistics about Arizona’s quality of life, humility may overcome the legislators, that they can do more for the public good by working together than alone. Once they’re in office, the monkey’s on their back, and we’ll be watching to see if they can make the leap to statesmanship.

I don’t know how many people will vote this year. If we follow suit from past elections it will be a sadly small percent of eligible voters. But come what may, will Arizona continue to be the loser, or will stewardship of the public trust prevail? I’m afraid that the jury is still out — but we can hope.

Herb Paine is a business strategy consultant and social critic.

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