New York State and democracy

To any close observer of the political process in Albany it is apparent that New York gets stuff done. Under the leadership of Andrew Cuomo legislation is passed, deals get done, problems are addressed, and the state runs smoothly. The other side of this is that New York State is run in an undemocratic fashion and for the exclusive benefit of elected officials and their benefactors. Personal vendettas and political payoffs drive policy and many concerned voices are stifled and silenced. The passage of the budget this year is a prime example. Three men conducted all the negotiations and there was no time for the legislation to be made public before the votes. Anti-corruption measures were not passed, despite the state legislature’s recent and frequent transgressions. In the larger sense of American political life it would seem that the citizens have an unfortunate choice: either accept gridlock and divisive politics, or submit to dictatorial and corrupt public governance. What are voters supposed to do?

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