Key Political Junkie

Politics in the keys has always been a little different than anywhere else. Part of it is due to the isolation that the Keys enjoyed until relatively recently. There is also an aspect of self-sufficiency that is imbedded in the local culture. In addition there is an ongoing rivalry between the Conchs and the recent arrivals as well as the unending struggle between the developers and environmentalists.

In the Keys, politics is at the heart of the community and effects the lifestyle of the people in a more direct and profound way than in other areas. There is a mix of strategy, conspiracy, trickery and scheming that virtually always surrounds even the most simple political undertaking. However, before discussing politics, it would behoove us to define the word.

But politicians do have a way with words and these people would prefer to define politics as the process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is most often used to describe the manner in which civil governments make decisions, but politics happens in almost all group interactions whether it be religious, academic, corporate or just social groups.

For the puropses of this Web page, we will limit the discussion to the politics involving the local government or issues that affect the Keys.

Political discussions in the Keys are a bit more complex than most other areas due to the fact that not only are party issues between Democrat and Republican a factor, but issues about the environment, development (or overdevelopment) and newcomers and those who were born here are major issues in the political landscape.

For many years, politics were ruled by the "Bubba System", a political hierarchy controlled by the native population and run for their benefit. The Bubba System continued to thrive even after newcomers outnumbered the native population because the Bubbas were a more cohesive group than anyone had imagined.