Bryce Courtney may have written the Power of One, but in the coming local government election the voters in our regions have the power of the vote.
This is an important responsibility that we have and should not be taken lightly. Recent comment would lead one to think that in the Moyne Shire Council election, the six councillors renominating are guaranteed re-election and that only one of the new candidates has the potential to be elected.
Excuse me, but I thought we lived in a democracy and that it was the voters’ prerogative to determine who would sit at our council tables, not those entrenched at the tables already. Since the nominations have closed, there have been quite a bit of behind-the-scenes negotiations happening in an effort to establish each candidate’s preference arrangement. This is in an effort to effectively pre-empt the vote and ensure that certain people are elected or re-elected.
Again I find this hard to take. This arrogant position and condescending attitude towards the voters is not acceptable. As the voters, we have the power of choice. It is up to us who we want to put where on the ballot paper and the idea of a candidate providing a list of preferences is, in my mind, purely a guide or suggestion to the voter.
Under a democracy, the voter has every right to place whatever number in whatever box they wish. I have provided a suggestion — which I am sure, will upset some — purely as a suggestion, not for the purpose of ensuring someone’s election or re-election.
This election for local government is about the future. This region has shown that at state and federal levels we are stuck in safe party seats. This is evidenced by the fact that everything is happening in the neighbouring seats, which are marginal and nothing of note is happening in our region.
The only avenue left is that of local government. All councils in the south-west need to stand and be counted as we face an uncertain future. Moyne Shire, in particular, needs to elect councillors who have a vision for the future, not just a desire to be elected.
Personality clashes, infighting and hidden agendas cannot be part of the future. Moyne Shire is in desperate need of a strong future vision that will see each of our population centres having a strategic future based on the strengths that they have as a community.
A one-size-fits-all policy will not work. Our new council cannot take the lazy option of the past and simply oppose any future thinking. We get enough of that from our national leaders. For this reason, voters need to think carefully when they receive their voting packs. Do we want more of the same? If we do then, like at state and federal level, we cannot complain if nothing happens. But if we want a future then it is time for a change and for each of us to exercise our power of choice and have some of the passengers removed from our councils.
Ralph Leutton, Powling Street, Port Fairy