Dear Chief Minister,
I think we can all agree that Public Holidays in the ACT have been a matter of some vexation these past few years. It seems to me that the decision of when to place them throughout the year is one of those issues you’d rather not deal with: someone is always bound to be miffed by your final choice.
Well – I’d like to suggest a solution that could take the problem off your hands, whilst giving a significant PR and community building coup for Canberra.
Why don’t we use Web2.0 technologies to make public holidays public?
Think of it this way: you could decide on a set number of public holidays per year (is it 12? 15?), and then the community could decide where to place them using a web suggestion and voting system.
Community decision making like this is not unique; Brisbane last year took the insightful decision of allowing the community to name a new bridge. This not only gave the people of Brisbane more ownership over the process and outcomes of naming the bridge, it gave the city itself a positive vibe: not for Brisbane a bridge named stuffily for a local dignitary, instead the community chose to honour a Brisbane band that made it big. (The band name was somehow fitting as well, with the eventual ‘Go Between Bridge’ a happy play on words).
Yes, there are risks in this; the community may decide to celebrate Star Wars Day (May the 4th), rather than Family and Community Day. But really, wouldn’t that be a win for us all?
Will J Grant