Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Does local democracy work?

Well, in answer to my own question: We shall see.

I'll confess that the older I get the less interested I am in voting, especially in National Elections and even European ones. I'm not sure my vote actually means anything, and the argument that if you don't vote you have no right to comment or complain is just ridiculous. None of us vote for the FIFA presidency, but many of us have an opinion about it! In fact, not voting can be more meaningful than voting as long as it's not arrived at by apathy and worn out arguments. Although disillusionment with the political system as it is is probably one of those old arguments!

Anyway, to local democracy. We've got local elections coming up in our borough and I got canvassed the other day. To my surprise I heard myself say that I was beginning to think that local elections might be more important than national ones. If local democracy can be made to work better, then maybe there's hope for national democracy.

I've decided to involve myself in local democracy over an issue that impacts my immediate community. I've taken the first step in writing to a local councillor and refreshingly I got an honest and hopeful reply. A good start. The last time I wrote to political office I got short shrift and was told the Prime Minister knew better than I did. Something history might suggest was somewhat wide of the mark!

Local councillors probably have a tougher job than some of their Westminster counterparts. After all they often have full-time jobs as well as serving on the council (rather than having lucrative consultancy jobs outside parliament-or is that just cynical?). I'm hoping that my initial burst of enthusiasm isn't snuffed out by lack of action or response.

As I said at the start: We shall see!!

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