• Malibu Pioneers Boycott Politics •
Political boycott is a time-honored tradition in America. Boycott was instrumental in the attainment of national independence. Boycott was an integral tool in the fight for the civil rights of people of color, women and gays in this country. And boycotts have served a critical international function, bringing errant foreign nations into the fold. Who knew that Malibu would be the next front line in the use of the boycott as a political tool?
Perhaps governmental scholars at the world’s major universities will have cause to explore how the use of the boycott in Malibu could revolutionize the nature of small-town public policy-making. The premise goes something like this: a few advocates for a cause show up at local city council meetings and say that they have told their unnamed and uncounted hordes of supporters to boycott the meeting because the spokespersons will represent them.
Think of the advantages. Malibuites will no longer have to attend long, and often tedious, meetings. By boycotting meetings, residents not only save time, but they also can save gas and babysitter costs; they won’t miss favorite TV shows; and the list goes on. In addition, if citizens don’t have to speak on behalf of an issue, they don’t have to prepare statements. They don’t have to be bothered with specifics. They don’t even have to think the issues through.
If boycotting becomes the norm, city council members could reap the greatest benefit of all. If council meetings are boycotted, they will be a lot shorter. There will be much less testimony to have to process, as there won’t be dozens and dozens of speakers who want podium time. With less need for council members to have to weigh the merits of the arguments on all sides of an issue, decision-making should be a lot easier. Council members might not even have to think at all.
Even the media could benefit from regular boycotting. Fewer payroll hours would have to be allocated to covering meetings. Since journalists would have fewer quotes to contend with, the writing of articles would be simpler and take less time.
Indeed, one is almost overwhelmed when one realizes what an improvement the boycott of city council meetings would be over the present cumbersome democratic system of one person-one vote, fairly represented and carefully counted.
Of course, it should be noted that boycotting is based on the honor system, but is anyone the least bit concerned that spokespersons would consider inflating the number of people who are participating in their boycott? Shucks, everyone knows there is nothing as squeaky clean as municipal politics.