Alright this is my first blog entry that is not a requirement from the EMBA class so I hope you enjoy it. Today we had to finalize the ballot for our upcoming election in October which involves our Election Committee presenting the candidates who submitted by the deadline and had all of the required information as required under our Tribal Laws.
Our nomination process closed yesterday on Tuesday and our laws and the flyers put out by the Committee clearly indicated that all required documents and candidacy forms had to be received by the Committee by 12:00 p.m. noon. Well one person who was trying to file did not have all her documentation complete and had not handed it in to the committee by the deadline. Once the deadline passed the Committee told her that they could not accept it (as she was in the office still trying to get documents together and put her packet together.
Well, lo and behold at our Council meeting tonight to finalize the ballot, her supporters came to the Council and tried to demand that we put her on the ballot anyway. This situation turned into a circus with them yelling and making some pretty disgusting comments. At one point a former Council Member actually had the gall to make a statement that when she was on Council that had approved putting some people on the ballot even though they knew is violated Tribal Laws and the Constitution, but because the people demanded it they did it.
I about fell off my seat when she made this comment on the record because we all took oaths when we were sworn into office that we would defend and uphold the constitution and laws of the Tribe, but her she was stating that we, the Council, should break these laws because the public (she and five other people) were demanding it.
I understand that when it comes to politics that people’s positions change based on who is running for office or what political side/position they are on or supporting, but come on, to actually go on the record and advocate for knowingly breaking the laws of our Tribe (or any other jurisdiction) seems to a go to a level of hypocrisy that actually surprised me.
Okay if I understand this then it’s alright to break our laws because you demand it, not because the laws wrong or unconstitutional, but because you didn’t like the result that the law produced. Well, then, advocate for changing law – don’t try to advocate breaking the law. We are supposed to be a nation built of the rule of law but when people hear the current and/or former leaders advocating breaking the laws we are only further pushing our people to have no respect for their government. And honestly how can we expect anyone to obey the laws when we have former leaders advocating that we should break them.