Municipalities: masters of our own homes!


Municipal Council meetings are public events. They can and should be filmed and made available to any citizens who are not present at the meetings. All you need to do is enter, announce that you wish to film the proceedings and then begin filming. At the municipal council meetings, certain decisions are made that affect our future, including issues ranging from water to healthcare and from education through to the environment. The municipal councillors are our employees and, as such, they are obliged to publicly account for their actions.
What I am writing is nothing revolutionary by any means. Were this to be read by a Spaniard, or by an American for that matter, they would act rather surprised because they accept this as being par for the course. In Los Angeles, City Council meetings, which are their equivalent of our Municipal Council Meetings, are broadcast live via cable TV on Channel 35 and on the Internet. Information is a public service. Municipal debates are public events. The decisions made at these meetings are part of the public record. Mayors and councillors who prohibit the filming of council meeting proceedings have a somewhat exclusionist view of politics. What they don’t appear to realise is that their salaries are paid by the very people who wish to film the proceedings and thereby check up on what they are getting up to. The Municipalities themselves should be voluntarily filming Council Meetings and making them available live on-line, and they should accept any viewer comments made on the Internet.
Dear Mayors and Councillors, what have you got to hide? All those Euros that enable you to make ends meet or, better still, to live rather high on the hog are given to you by the citizens. When these citizens walk into Council Chambers, you should welcome them with open arms. These are your bosses that are coming to visit you. These are your true principals. Should you decide to have them evicted by the Police or the Carabinieri (and on what grounds would you be entitled to do so?), they should turn around and withdraw the mandate they gave to you in the first place.
I am inviting all of the MeetUp groups to film their local Municipal Council meetings and post them on YouTube, labelled as: “Breathing down your neck”. This blog will show all of them, one by one.
Before the 2009 administrative elections, we need to find out precisely which councillors and mayors are on the side of the citizens and freedom of information, and which of them are, instead, nothing more than well-paid lackeys of the political parties. Anyone prohibiting the citizens from filming the proceedings must not be re-elected. They may never give up, but neither will we.

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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 05:02 PM in | Comments (4)
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Interesting to see L.A., my hometown, mentioned in the context of Italian politics.

Anyhow, may the forces of freedom and openness have equal good luck against the forces of...not freedom and openness which currently hold sway.

Posted by: DennisSC | September 11, 2008 06:09 AM

The cleverness in the details.
I read few replies, and I do rest my case, none of the replies has contradicted any statement I wrote.
Therefore when short of ammunitions usually the impaired one shoot the messenger.
As I was saying, the three basic requirements missing in the Political Establishment are (And have always been!):
Credibility, Responsibility and Accountability!
Give the world a jingle when you’ll find them, until then you will sit on the bench watching the world play the game with their rules.
The future looks bright wear shades.
Thanks and cheers

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | September 8, 2008 12:02 PM

If Democracy means anything it's that an elected government encourages all people to participate in governing the country, especially in the governing of towns. Filming council meetings is a moment of democratic transparency and should not be banned. One would think that in Italy, where political corruption is almost an institution, no politician would have the courage to call the police for the removal of cameras. One would think that Italian politicians would welcome cameras recording their activities. Banning the filming of council meetings is a tell-tale that something rotten is going on and, sad to say, usually something rotten does go on. Nothing is more humiliating for democracy than politicians invoking obscure rules to limit the organization of people's lives. When that happens it's legitimate to wonder if, what is happening today in city councils across Italy, is a crisis-creating strategy adopted to alienate Italians from the institutions of democracy. It's a way to bankrupt democracy. I mean, whatever is not used eventually gets lost. Nothing would please Berlusconi more than have Italians not participate, or take an interest, in the affairs of their towns.

Posted by: louis pacella | September 7, 2008 07:29 PM

The cleverness in the details!
The Political Establishment of Italy is actually doing what it has always done, actually unusually better than I was expecting, the amazing part comes from Italians themselves.
When all of You, have a country with 1600 Bil. € debt, 40% of Public Companies Incorporated in Liechtenstein or some other Fiscal Paradise, Crime Syndicate gross 100 Bil. € a year (Government Numbers!), School System employs 1.3 Mil. (More than the actual students?) and last but not list Mr. B. promise you a National Airline for free what more do you want?
I do know Italians are very gullible and instinctive in their actions, although this is pure madness.
The Political Establishment promised you Meritocracy right?
You don’t even have the opportunity to select them, do you really believe they will give to you at their expense?
The debt is what it is today, before all Mr. B. successes like, 5 Bil € at Libya, the 5 Bil € Alitalia will cost You (Established by The Economist!) and Naples (So far approx 2.750 Bil €.
The cleverness in the Details, still remains in the fact that what They tell you shouldn’t scare you at all, is what they don’t tell you should worry you.
What is not very clear in my mind is the fact that regardless how badly these Individuals manage Italian Affairs, they are all still there, doing better than ever, richer than ever, shelling B.S. around like there is no tomorrow, and Italians flock to cheer them on.
Italy is at the bottom of every statistics, not a single Agency function properly, corruption is at Botswana and National newspapers are at par with supermarket tabloid?
How bad does it have to be for Italians to wake up from the slumber?
Any how if you don’t believe the details, call me I do have ocean front prime real estate for you only, in Utah OK.
Thanks and cheers

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | September 7, 2008 04:45 PM

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