Mount Pleasant Don Thurston

You Cannot Change The Stew Without Changing The Pot

Readers will recall that the good citizens of Mount Pleasant quickly embraced Zoom and Microsoft Team virtual meetings.

To a person, community members are gregarious by nature.  Individuals of all stripes take a moment to chat about anything and everything.  So when Frank Springer proposed a second online conversation it was greeted with an immediate positive response. Frank’s topic…..YOU CANNOT CHANGE THE STEW WITHOUT CHANGING THE POT.

Participants included Kevin Doyle, Executive Director-The Mount Pleasant Community Foundation; Kumar Ali, Finance Manager-Mount Pleasant Credit Union; Nancy Holmes, Chancellor- FDC University; Celine Langlois, Owner- Tours Sur les Bonbon; Eugene Forsythe, Executive Director-Mount Pleasant’s Business Development Office.

As well, Frank assembled a three person panel including Geoffrey Kirkpatrick- Chairman of the Global Public Policy Group, Dr. Robyn Tadesse- Ethiopian, Minister of Natural Resources and Vanessa Goldman-President of Goldman Investment Associates.

Frank thanked the panelists and opened the conversation.

Kevin Doyle was the first hand waver; His question….What do you mean by You Cannot Change the Stew Without Changing the Pot?

Geoffrey Kirkpatrick responded. “Substantive change, particularly in democratic systems of governance occurs are  when politicians legislate new policies and the populace  put them into practice…..the politicians are the pot, citizens are the stew.

Kumar asked “Is it necessary to have both”? Geoffrey said yes, we select our leaders to enact legislation that reflect the will of the people.   The consummate expression is at the polling station when the stew has the power to keep the existing pot or to acquire a new one.

Nancy Holmes opened with a statement. She said the path to revised and new policies is never a straight line. Blockages, detours, cancellations are all part of a complicated and rancorous process. Her question….does an example come to mind that seems to have settled the issue

Robyn Tadesse was quick to respond. The abolition of slavery has a very long and fractured history encompassing acrimonious legal battles, bilateral and multilateral agreements, international conventions and one of the world’s most destructive civil wars.  Governments have come and gone across the world as pots fluctuated, when eventually the stew lost the advocates for slavery. The  process lasted for centuries.

Celine Langlois was up next, asking about examples of the pot stew duet that are more singular in nature. Dr. Kirkpatrick said the pot stew duet is well exemplified by taxation policies and practices.  Revisions originate from changing locations on the political spectrum, from external and unforeseen circumstance, from social changes and from altering economic circumstances.  My personal view is that taxation policies and practices will forever represent both pot and stew revisions.

Eugene Forsyth clicked off his mute button, exclaiming that the universal debate of the day is focused on global warming.   The debate has morphed into laws, and legislation commiserate with the associated consequences. What are your views as to the future of this pot stew relationship?

Robyn Tadesse replied that the Clean Air Act became law in a major economy sixty years ago. That was the first substantive expression   of the consequences of air pollution converted into dollars and cents. From that time on acts of every nature are in place around the world. Authorship, modification, elimination and clarification are now a policy maker’s full time sport.

Global warming and the consequences are to be reckoned with considering the magnitude of the problems.  The pots are now cauldrons in lock step with their increasing numbers; commensurately stews are larger, more complex, and varied including beef stroganoff, coq au vin, goulash, salmagundi. Get accustomed to the turmoil

Frank closed the proceedings, thanked the participants and indicated more conversations of this nature were planned. He indicated that a Zoom subscription was on the way and participants are expected to share the expense.

Thanks for reading!

I would love to hear your thoughts. Drop me a line in LinkedIn or contact me directly.

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