The local government elections take place on Saturday 27 October 2012. If, like me, you’re deeply cynical about the motives of people who run for election to local government, it can be difficult to find anyone you think is worth voting for. I’ve been thinking about what I want from my local government councillor. I expect them to be transparent about their policies and values.
I want them to be focused on finding pragmatic solutions to local problems. I want them to base their decision-making on facts and the needs of local residents, not the frozen values embodied by irrelevant state or federal political party platforms. I want them to act as individuals, not representatives of a political party.
I want them not to be wannabe career politicians, forever running hopelessly for state parliament while biding their time in local government, caring little for what they’re doing, just padding their resumes at the expense of exasperated ratepayers. Being elected to local government is not an acceptable means to an end.
I’ve been approached by candidates and invited out to coffee to ‘discuss’ the election. Naive idiots. They should know better than to seek my support. I’m not going to endorse anyone, particularly not someone from a political party. None of them can be trusted.
Haven’t I made my displeasure clear about their anti-democratic manipulation of the position of mayor in the City of Yarra (where the ALP and the Greens swapped it between themselves)? Isn’t my disgust about their years of dithering over construction of new public toilets (and the Socialists’ political interference in their placement) obvious?
Here’s how I’m going to select a candidate to vote for. I will refuse to vote for anyone who:
- Is running as a candidate representing a political party
- Has ever run for election to state parliament
- Does not make what I consider to be comprehensive and transparent statements about their values and agenda on their website.
Unfortunately, there will probably no one who meets these criteria and I’ll have to make an informal vote. Note to the electoral scrutineers: if you find a ballot voting 1. corrupt parasite, that will be mine.