Elections do have consequences

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Turn on any television station, read any newspaper website or media blog in recent days and the one phrase most often stated or written over and over again during post-election coverage was that those very “elections have consequences.” There’s no doubt they do, whether it be nationally, state wide or locally.

The consequences of the 2012 Election stem predominantly with economic issues at all levels.

The United States Congress, of course, is currently dealing with the so-called “Fiscal Cliff.” For the uninitiated, the Fiscal Cliff is considered to be toxic a combination of tax increases and spending cuts, which could possibly send our economy into a recession. Like so many things emanating from Washington, D.C. these days, the rhetoric regarding this issue is quite hyperbolic, though if it does conclude with a reasoned agreement between the parties, a “Grand Bargain” as it’s been deemed, it would do much to soothe our sputtering economic forecast.

The consequences of the 2012 Election in Rhode Island do not come with the same catchy monikers, though that doesn’t mean they are any less important.

The re-election of Speaker Gordon Fox likely means one of his core issues, same-sex marriage, will be placed high on the docket to open the 2013 legislative session. Without any real opposition (i.e. a strong Republican/conservative minority) and with the governor having already voiced his support for the measure, it’s likely Rhode Island will shed its label as the only remaining state in New England not to officially recognize gay marriage. What Speaker Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed plan to do to spur job and economic growth in the state is a little unclear, though it would likely behoove everyone involved, citizen and politician alike, to attempt to put some effective policies in place in short order.

In East Providence, the consequences of the 2012 Election probably won’t be seen or felt to their fullest extent for some time.

With the Budget Commission still firmly in place, both the City Council and School Committee will remain rather impotent for the foreseeable future. The Council will, however, appoint a new president who will replace Bruce Rogers on the Commission. Who the Council selects will be of great consequence to the residents of the city.

There should be no bargain here. The best person for the position should be chosen.

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