Lately, government in Powhatan has been a little crazy! A refresher on how things are supposed to work may help…

First- We have all agreed on our form of government. “When did we do that?” you say! The Constitution starts with “We the People”. It’s a compact that binds us to each other. We have no king. “We the People” are in charge, and have decided on how to run ourselves.

Second- Our chosen form of government is not democracy. That’s right! We chose a republic, instead. Democracy is, in essence, mob rule. One person, one vote. The majority always wins. It has been described as two wolves and one sheep deciding what’s for dinner. A republic, on the other hand, runs by the Rule of Law. This protects the minority. In a republic, you can enact laws that don’t allow sheep to be on the dinner menu.

Third- We are a representative government. People are divided into groups, called districts. The people in each district elect one person to represent them. That way, they don’t have to show up at every meeting (impractical), but their voice is still heard. Their representative is entrusted to vote as if they were there.

Fourth- Sometimes, the representative stops, well…representing! They forget that “the People” are king. If they stop being the true voice of the People, they can be voted out at the next election. Our system of government is self-correcting.

Fifth- The problem is…the People often forget that they are the boss. Even worse, they don’t bother to vote! Imagine a boss who ignores the employees, and let’s them run the “shop” however they wish. That’s when our government breaks down, and things get crazy.

The cure? Communicate with your representative, ensure they are representing your views, and vote! Simple…

That’s how your government is supposed to work. In summary, be the boss that you already are!