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Developing Democracy

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To the Editors:

Cate Plys's feature on our aldermen ["Council Whores," July 18] was amusing and frustrating. I'm sending it to friends in Africa who work for the government of Malawi.

We remind ourselves that in a democracy we don't get good government but representational government. It's unfortunate, with the shenanigans going on, Larry Bloom was the worst Jim Burns could prosecute.

Ironically, USAID (with our tax dollars) funds democracy training for politicians in developing countries. The buzzwords among elites are "good governance," "transparency," and "respect for rule of law."

We even bring them (foreign nationals) to Chicago's Heartland International for democracy training! Perhaps Heartland International and Transparency International should train our aldermen! If they can be taught.

I told the Malawians (whom I worked with as a Peace Corps volunteer) that democracy and elections aren't answers in themselves. A free press is necessary to report what's going on, and we need to organize, throw the rascals out, and get a new set of rascals! It's not called politics for nothing. Unfortunately, we can't get governance without politics.

Robyn Michaels

N. Wayne

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